“If anybody wants to buy the house and preserve it, show us the money,” Loring said.
Tony Bolland, who lives next door at 435 Hale St., said all of the people who wrote letters supporting the house’s preservation “should’ve formed a club and kicked in $700,000 each to properly renovate it.”
By enacting a one-year delay on Greiner’s renovation plans, Bolland said, the commission forced her hand in applying for a permit to demolish the entire building.
“Bottom line, what I believe this Historic Commission has done is you’ve failed to save any historic portion of this house in exchange for a hole in the ground,” he said. “I think you blew it.”
Steve Rosenthal, an architectural photographer from Manchester-by-the-Sea who has photographed the Loring House, said proper historic renovations can be done if an owner is willing. He pointed to the example of Fenway Park, which the previous owners of the Red Sox said could not be preserved.
“The new owners of the Red Sox saved a treasure,” Rosenthal said. “This house is a treasure.”
Neighbors urged the commission to reach a compromise with Greiner that would allow her to proceed with her original plan in some form, without having to wait until November for the demolition delay to expire.
The commission voted to enact a one-year delay on the plans to demolish the entire house. But in the meantime, Greiner and the commission agreed to meet at the house, at a date to be determined, to discuss renovations that they can agree on that would save the house from being completely demolished.
“We hope we can find some way of reaching a solution that preserves a significant portion of the building,” Finch said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.