Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Longmeadow Residents Urged to Save the Mansion

This letter to the editor was submitted by Marie Angelides, a member of the Longmeadow Select Board for posting on the LongmeadowBuzz blog.

On Thursday, Jan. 25 there will be a Special Town Meeting in Longmeadow.  The residents will be making an important decision regarding the Town Green. The discussion is framed by the following issues: should we preserve the Town Green for primarily residential properties or should we preserve the historic Young mansion by converting part of the property for commercial usage. Only the residents of Longmeadow can only make this decision. The boards and committees and employees have done their work in bringing the issue to the legislative body, the Town Meeting. Only the citizens of Longmeadow have the power to make this change.

The residents of Longmeadow must decide what best represents the character of the town: the preservation of the Young mansion or its destruction. One thing is clear, the cost of maintenance and renovation has proven too much for a single homeowner. This has led to the severe deterioration of the structure resulting in a blight in the middle of Longmeadow.

Longmeadow has a rich history. When we lose part of our history we lose an important part of our identity. As a town, we have shown a dedication to investing in maintaining our historic documents, architecture and landscapes. The Young mansion is an important part of our historic architecture. I urge you to take a tour of the Young mansion to see what we will lose.

With the acceptance of this project comes a responsibility to preserve the historic residential character of the Green and the safety of our pedestrians and bikers. Our boards, committees, and staff will work diligently to plan for traffic safety as required, as Longmeadow is a "Complete Streets" community. As a community, we should also review the long-range plan for the Green with the Historic District Commission, Historic Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission and Longmeadow Historic Society to establish policies that recommit ourselves to the preservation and care of our Green and historic district.

Voting "YES" on Thursday, Jan. 25 will be the first step in preserving the Green and the architectural history of our town.

Please come out on Thursday, January 25 at 7 PM at Longmeadow High School and help with this crucial decision.

Marie Angelides, Longmeadow

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