Friday, November 7, 2008

Grumman-St. John update

The owners of the Grumman-St. John house admitted they're letting the place be vandalized. And they want sympathy because people expect them to follow state law?

What cracks me up is that their lawyer is quoted saying the house is "of very little historic value." Tell that to the National Park Service and the National Register of Historic Places. If it was of so little value, believe me, the state and the preservation interests would have let the matter drop years ago. They aren't just doing this for fun or to ruin your business.

Another entertaining aspect is that the building the owners want to keep and expand, the main Inn building, is this sprawling, soulless modern motel/banquet hall complex with zero character. Pretty landscaping, but.... Even a sucker like me sees no redeeming qualities there. Interestingly, there are virtually no photos of the exterior on the inn website.

The house even in its deteriorated state is way more commanding and of far superior construction. It could really add some authentic historic charm to what is a functional but uninspiring inn property, creating a link between the inn and the Green. They could make it sort of a boutique luxury component of the inn property, or convert it to large suites. A little imagination would uncover a ton of hidden potential, and a little design creativity could allow both the inn to expand and the house to be retained. But the owners would rather fight to the death to knock the house down, rather than making a design compromise that could make everyone happy and end this costly and bitter battle very quickly.

Yep, it's just another old wooden building.

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