, Salem, MA

February 7, 2013

Letter: Historic Salem supports courthouse re-use

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

Historic Salem Inc. is pleased with the active role state Rep. John Keenan and state Sen. Joan Lovely are taking to seek appropriate and timely re-use of the historic Superior Court and County Commissioner’s buildings. HSI believes it is essential that the highest standards be maintained regarding the future use of these unique, nationally significant buildings. They define the Federal Street National Historic Register district and contribute immensely to the architectural heritage of Salem — and the nation.

It is easy to see that the exteriors of these buildings need to be carefully preserved and restored. Additionally, there are many interior elements of the Superior Courthouse, including its courtrooms and the magnificent law library with its purpose-built furniture, that should be preserved in any reuse plan, and which should be kept accessible to the public. While we believe that the best way to achieve these objectives is to retain the buildings for court functions, we agree that other public institutions, if committed to preservation and public accessibility, could develop a historically appropriate re-use plan. We look forward to working with city and state officials and local boards and commissions to see these buildings preserved.

Brenton Dickson

President, HSI