FACTS, QUESTIONS, ANSWERS
Q: What is currently being planned for the future site?
A: 140-unit development by Leggat McCall Properties has been approved for the historic Glover Farm site. See proposed Plans & Drawings
Q: Does the proposed development save any of the five historic buildings on site?
A: No, the current proposed development does not save or reuse any of the historic buildings on site, including the 1700s Glover House.
Q: Has a demolition delay been issued by the Historical Commission?
A: Yes, on April 20, 2023, the Swampscott Historical Commission issued a 9-month demolition delay.
Q: What does the demolition delay do?
A: Imposes a 9-month delay in demolition of a historically significant building, with the intent of finding a design compromise between the community and the developer to save the structure.
Q: By saving the house, is it intended to stop the development?
A: No, there is no intent to stop the residential development. Since there is space on site for both, the best scenario would be for the historic house to coexist with the new housing, something that is feasible, and has been done with other new developments.
Q: Why has nothing been done in the past to save such a historically significant house?
A: The property is, and continues to be privately owned. The goal is to take the opportunity when the site is redeveloped, to restore it, and give the house of an important American hero and military veteran the recognition and care it deserves for future generations.
Q: Can the house be saved?
A: Yes, after a structural survey, the original 1700s house can be restored.
Q: What is the condition of the house?
A: While many of the later additions from the Glover restaurant era are in poor condition, the original 1700s house and ell are in a condition that can be stabilized and restored.
Q: Is there enough left of the original house to be saved?
A: Yes, the original 1700s House is still intact, just surrounded by later additions, with the original foundation, roofline, center chimneys, fireplaces, molding, wall paper fragments, and beams still existing to this day.
Q: Is the house listed on any of historic registry or inventory?
A: The house has been added to the Massachusetts Historic Commissions state inventory of historic buildings. The house is also eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark under multiple criteria of significance.
Q:Are there examples of similar preservation projects?
A: Yes, throughout New England, and the country, there are numerous examples of buildings in similar or worse condition that have been recognized for their historic importance to American history, and been saved, stabilized and restored. See examples here
Q: What has been the timeline of the project?
A: Project Timeline 1. 1990s Restaurant closes (remains unoccupied for 25+ years) 2. 2005 Death of Anthony Athanas 3. 2020 Swampscott imposes fine on “blighted” property 4. February 2021 Select Board asks if property should be condemned The History of the Planned Development 1. June 2022 Town Meeting approves zoning overlay 2. Summer 2022 Discussions begin about a proposed 140 unit housing complex Fall 2022 1. Swampscott Historical Commission begins conversations with Town Administrators, the Planning Board, and Leggat McCall Developers 2. February 2023 SHC awarded a $6,100 Cultural Sector Recovery for Organizations grant from 3. Massachusetts Cultural Council grant for preservation efforts. 4. March 2023 SHC Initial determination finds the house and site “historically significant.” 5. Votes to hire structural engineers for an assessment of the condition of the original Glover House 6. On April 13, a SHC Public Hearing is held; on April 20 SHC imposes nine-month demolition delay