The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, August 27, 2010

Historical Commission shorts, August 10

Eagle Scout project. Alex Doig, a Carlisle resident and a member of Boy Scout Troop 135, presented a proposal for his Eagle Scout project to the Historical Commission on August 10. He wishes to repair the dilapidated railing that runs along the trail between the Gleason Library and the Carlisle School. Identifying the railing’s primary function as assisting the elderly, Doig explained that after clearing away dangerous debris – including splintered wood and rusty nails – he plans to leave the structurally intact posts in place and replace the railing they support with a newly designed one that will resist splintering and provide better support.

He also indicated that he would be consulting Carlisle Building Commissioner John Luther for additional suggestions and approval. After discussing several concerns about the current design with Doig, the commission agreed that while no formal action was required to approve the project, they supported it in principle. Further, members of the commission suggested that Doig create a mockup of one segment of the railing to give the community an idea of what the finished product would look like to aid in fundraising.

Search for a fitting memorial. In a previous meeting, the commission had discussed a request by a former Carlisle resident to place a bench in town center memorializing her parents, James and Cecilia Barron, longtime residents who were active in the Carlisle community. The commission’s consensus had been that allowing such a bench would set an undesirable precedent. Presently, they were updated on the issue. According to commission member Jack O’Connor, the Board of Selectmen were not interested in placing any new benches in town center or at the library, but considered the entrance to the Conant Land as a possible location. Commission member Peggy Hilton added that she was acquainted with Mrs. Barron while she lived in Carlisle, and that she was an avid reader; she suggested that a book fund or something similar be established in lieu of a bench. Commission members agreed that such a memorial would be both more practical and more appropriate.

Historical Survey is in. The survey of historically significant Carlisle locations is complete. The results, in the form of documents, maps and photographs, have been stored on a four-CD set. Copies were distributed to members of the Commission, and another copy has been placed in the safe at Town Hall.

Plans for the new school. Tentative plans for the Carlisle School renovations were distributed to commission members in the hope that they might offer informal suggestions and queries (see “Planning Board aids Selectmen with Carlisle School site plan review,” page 5). Though their formal jurisdiction applies only to the section of the renovations that falls within the Historic District, they were able to provide feedback on the plans as a whole. Initially confused by a lack of consistency and organization in the plans, at the time of the hearing on August 10 they agreed on five points for the builders:

1. The information about the temporary play area to be used during construction was vague. The commission wondered what it would consist of, how it would eventually be removed, and how its boundaries would be established.

2. Striped parking spaces were indicated on the plans in an area already used for legal parking. The commission requested that this area remain as it is, without stripes, deeming them unnecessary and ultimately harmful to the historical integrity of the area.

3. The commission requested the opportunity to review detailed staking of construction boundaries within the Historic District.

4. The commission requested further definition of what was described in the plan as “permeable bituminous concrete”.

5. The commission pointed out that the planting plan was incomplete and vague, and requested further elucidation on the matter. ∆

Carlisle Historic District defined

According to Massachusetts General Law 40C, “no building or structure within an historic district shall be constructed or altered in any way that affects exterior architectural features unless the commission shall first have issued a certificate of appropriateness, a certificate of non-applicability or a certificate of hardship with respect to such construction or alteration....No building permit for construction of a building or structure or for alteration of an exterior architectural feature within an historic district and no demolition permit for demolition or removal of a building or structure within an historic district shall be issued by a city or town or any department thereof until the certificate required by this section has been issued by the commission . . . The commission shall not consider interior arrangements or architectural features not subject to public view....Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent the ordinary maintenance, repair or replacement of any exterior architectural feature within an historic district which does not involve a change in design, material, color or the outward appearance thereof, nor to prevent landscaping with plants, trees or shrubs, nor construed to prevent the meeting of requirements certified by a duly authorized public officer to be necessary for public safety because of an unsafe or dangerous condition, nor construed to prevent any construction or alteration under a permit duly issued prior to the effective date of the applicable historic district ordinance or by-law.” ∆

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