Beede House SOS!

The Beede House is in danger. More than 2 years ago, we woke up to find the house spray painted with DEMO signs. The leaders of American Legion Post 31 Penacook wanted to demolish the 1860 house to build a new facility. 80 people showed up at the Demolition Review hearing at United Church to protest and ask the Legion to save the house.

Legion leadership told the Zoning Board they would save the house but demolish the barn. The barn was attached to the house. When they demolished the barn in October 2017, they left the whole side of the house exposed to the weather. Didn’t even cover it with a tarp for 2 years. That’s called demolition by neglect.

They asked the Zoning Board for permission to build a 9,000 square foot facility with a 40 x 60 hall that could hold several hundred people. Drawings show a pass-thru window to a bar with about 30 stools. That would have been the largest American Legion bar in the state of NH.

Now they want to go back on their promise and demolish the house to turn it into a parking lot. Next they will want to build an even bigger facility, with a bigger bar.

The Legion does a lot of good and they have permission to demolish. But is destroying a piece of our history the right thing to do? Is a 9,000+ sf bar and all that goes with it the right thing for our community – or our friends and family who are Veterans?

If you think this is wrong, contact the Legion today and tell them what you think of their plan. Tomorrow may be too late.

This is contact info from their website:

724-9304 – Commander Bob Cook. 753-9372 – Jim Place. 724-6323 – Pete Dodge. Ron Drapeau ron.drapeau@yahoo.com.  Dot Swenson dswenson@tds.net.  Donna Strand strand.dj@comcast.net. Chaplin Arleen Nudd anudd1@myfairpoint.net.

Demolition of Barn and Ell

The c. 1870 Frank Beede House barn and the wood portion of the house were demolished today. The demo crew stopped midway to talk about how well the building was constructed. The 30′ + hand-hewn beams were strong. The stairway that went to the original cupola (removed long ago) was so well built that it stayed in place even after all its supports were removed. The crew climbed over the rubble to admire the chutes that brought hay from the loft to the horses. They even found a horseshoe. But by the end of the day, demolition was complete. A very sad day for Penacook history.

ZBA Public Hearing – April 5, 7:00 PM

site-plan-with-bar

Would this plan impact you? The Zoning Board wants to know.

City law requires a 202-car parking lot to handle large functions at Post 31’s proposed 9000 sf social hall. The Post requests variances that might allow up to 150 cars to park on Washington St. and side streets.

On Feb. 8, the ZBA asked the Legion to (1) hold a community meeting before April 5, to address the public’s concerns, including traffic, parking, setbacks, and green space, and (2) consider downsizing the building. To date, we have not received notice from the Legion of a community meeting.

You’re invited to testify at the ZBA Public Hearing on WEDNESDAY, APRIL 5, at 7:00 PM, at the Concord Zoning Board, City Council Chambers, 37 Green St., Concord. Or EMAIL testimony to Chris Carley, ZBA Chair, c/o Craig Walker, cwalker@concordnh.gov .

More info at Public Hearing Feb. 8, 7:00 PM

Save the barn too!

Goldsmith

John B. Goldsmith signed his name on the wall of the Beede House barn, probably in 1869 when he and his father-in-law, John Foss, moved in. The barn is full of clues to its early history. In just an hour, we found original signatures, pencil drawings, and a 19th-century poem carefully written on the walls, and a dozen other intact historical features. Imagine what else is hidden there, waiting to be discovered!

Post 31 is working with architect John Jordan to preserve the house and transform it into a new function hall. We understand the barn may be demolished – or dismantled and moved –  to make way for a new addition. If you value the barn’s history, contact John Jordan and Legion building committee chair Jim Place and request them to save the Beede House barn.

john@jordadesign.biz                 jimplaceconst@aol.com

April 6 update

Union looking up

As you may have read in the Concord Monitor (March 31, 2016), American Legion Post 31 has reached a “gentleman’s agreement” not to demolish the Beede House “for the foreseeable future” while they explore other options.

Post 31 representatives will be meeting with city officials tomorrow. Apparently the Post is considering various alternatives, which may include renovating the Beede House into a new function hall.

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