Friday, January 7, 2005
This Old House plans public viewing
Bruce Irving, executive producer of This Old House Productions, appeared before the Board of Selectmen at its December 15 meeting to update the Board on their plan to hold a Designer's Showhouse. This Old House Productions is currently working to renovate the house and barn at 730 Concord Street in Carlisle, and Irving, knowing all too well that traffic issues have dogged the project from day one, began his briefing with an apology for the traffic mess. As hard as they have tried, there is an inevitable crush of trucks, vans, cars and construction equipment at the site. Recent excavations in the rear of the building gave Irving some hope that most of the clutter could be located in the back yard, albeit sunk in the mud during spring thaw. He will continue to work with the Carlisle Police Department to control the congestion, especially during filming. "We expect to finish for TV purposes by March 2," Irving said.
Irving plans to open the building to the public in the form of a Designer's Showhouse, with proceeds going to benefit their scholarship for kids to enter the building trades. The dates for the public event are April 15 through May 29, with hours on Tuesdays through Fridays of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 7p.m. Irving estimates that 12,000 to 13,000 people will visit the house over the six-week period. Aside from a few staff cars on site, there should be no individual visitor traffic at the house at all. Visitors will purchase tickets with a specific date and time. That, along with a limited flow of visitors spaced out across the day, should ensure that crowds cannot develop. In addition, Irving has budgeted for a police detail at the beginning of the event to get things off on the right foot and gauge whether or not such a detail should become a permanent part of the undertaking.
Police Chief Dave Galvin talked with Irving and has coordinated plans with This Old House relative to parking and traffic issues surrounding the event. In a letter to the Selectmen, Galvin stated, "We are confident that this agency will be able to address all foreseeable issues relative to this open house." Irving plans to use the School and Congregational Church parking lots for visitor parking, with a shuttle to and from the house site. "I expect about 25 to 30 people per hour will pass through the house," he said. "Each person will have a one-hour time slot."
This Old House plans to host a Carlisle Day on one of the first days with free admission to town residents. Chair Tim Hult estimated that upwards of 500 to 600 town residents might be interested in attending, prompting Irving to think about extending his offer to two days. "Also, we will contribute some of the proceeds to a town scholarship fund," he concluded. Selectmen have suggested that these scholarship funds might be named in honor of former Selectman Vivian Chaput.
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