Commission Questions Future of Stonewalls at Depot Development

HAMPSTEAD – Hampstead Historic District Heritage Commission member John Kelley raised a question as to whether member Priscilla Lindquist had gone any further with his earlier query regarding the stonewalls located on the Depot Development property. He noted that statute requires both owners to agree to have them removed.
Lindquist said she had spoken to Code Enforcement Officer and Building Inspector Kris Emerson, who said that as the state, one of the wall owners, had agreed to the curb cuts, he assumed this had been addressed, but he would check. The stonewall along Route 121 has disappeared.

The commission decided it might be a good idea to send a letter questioning the stonewall issue and in the future to be more tuned in on properties and developments where stonewalls are concerned.
In other business at its meeting last week:

• The commission discussed the work done and remaining on the air conditioning unit for the Hampstead Historical Museum. Already $1,200 has been spent, but another $1,200 is required to complete the job.
Member Chip Hastings said he thought the work would allow the air conditioning and heat to continue to be used for several more years before the heat boiler would have to be replaced. The commission voted to authorize Hastings to spend up to $1,200 to complete the work.
• The commission discussed the work being done by Dave Dupouy, who is working on the columns in front of the Historical Museum. He has dug into the columns and found out what needs to be done, and was at the meeting to get authorization to continue.
He said he found a company in New York City that can make a replica of the capitals and bases for the columns that need to be replaced. These would be made from wood. He also had found a company that did similar things but out of Fiberglas. The commission members dismissed Fiberglas as not authentic enough and voted to go with the company in New York.
The cost of the replacement capitals and bases would run about $2,500 delivered. The commission decided there was enough money in the budget to authorize Dupouy to order the pieces, and voted to do so.
The unknown is the labor cost but the commission decided there was some money left in the account after subtracting the two authorized expenditures and the next budget season is coming up, and determined it was safe to go ahead with the project.
“If we hit the wall financially, we can stop and cover things up and wait to finish it when we have the necessary funds,” Vice Chairman Rob Morris said. “The work on the Old Meeting House is virtually all done, so that is the good news.”
• Kelley said he has completed the application for placement of a New Hampshire Historical Marker at the Old Meeting House, including the documentation for the written message for the marker and the petition signatures, and sent the package in to the state Division of Historical Resources.

The marker text will read “Built before 1749, the Meeting House is typical of the ‘second generation’ of such structures in New England with rectangular shape, entrance on the south side, gabled roof, five-bay façade, box pews and a high pulpit. A belfry tower and porch was added in 1792 and a bell from the foundry of Paul Revere Jr., was installed in 1809. Daniel Webster served as defense lawyer during a trial held here in 1914.

The building was used for the annual town meetings from 1740-1963, church services, dances, plays, Grange meetings, and town offices.”
Kelley said that even though the paperwork has all been submitted, he doesn’t expect a response any time soon.

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