Medfield Historical Commission – Release for demolition – 1740 Clark tavern, 353-355 Main Street
|Release for demolition – 1740 Clark tavern, 353-355 Main Street|
|From: David Temple|
|To: Gary Pelletier|
|Date: Thu, Feb 11, 2021 10:59 am|
After more than two hours of testimony and debate last night, with over 30 people in Zoom attendance, the Medfield Historical Commission voted 3-2 to allow the MacCreadys (Open Space Developers) to proceed with their replication plan for the Clark tavern, which had been outlined in the ZBA decision. The plan calls for them to disassemble the tavern, recreate its exterior appearance, and, where possible, reuse elements such as wide plank flooring, timbers, wainscoting, and the arched carved beams in the ballroom.
As a condition, the MacCreadys must arrange for an archaeological site examination survey to be done before ground is broken for construction, similar to the survey done in 2017 by The Public Archaeology Laboratory on land surrounding the tavern.
The Clark tavern is one of Medfield’s most important historical assets. The commission had no trouble determining the obvious: (1) the Clark tavern is historically significant, and (2) it should be designated “preferably preserved.” The latter required the commission to impose, under the bylaw, an 18-month delay on the demolition. The bylaw also allows the commission to lift the delay if certain conditions are met, such as there being little or no likelihood of anyone else stepping in to save the structure.
No one on the commission wanted to demolish it, but in view of its poor and rapidly deteriorating condition (including a big hole in the roof) and the 14 years of unsuccessful attempts to get it restored, this was the best option, so we lifted the delay. The MacCreadys have a long history in Medfield and did a great job on the 1880 Ord block, and the commission is deeply respectful and grateful to them for undertaking the Clark tavern project.
In your reply, please include my original message.
David F. Temple
President, Medfield Historical Society
Chair, Medfield Historical Commission
300 South Street
Medfield, MA 02052