EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

June 4, 2014

Historical panel, developer find way to preserve farmhouse

NORTH ANDOVER — The 1825 farmhouse on Berry Street will be destroyed — but in a sense it will be resurrected.

The white farmhouse, easily visible to drivers headed west on Route 114, is on the property where North Andover Holdings LLC has approval to build 196 apartments. The developer plans to demolish the building and replace it with a community clubhouse for the tenants who live in the apartments.

The clubhouse, however, will be a replica of the farmhouse, according to both Kathy Szyska, chairwoman of the Historical Commission, and Eric Loth, director of North Andover Holdings LLC.

The commission, which visited the building a few weeks ago, determined that the farmhouse has historical significance. Loth said the rooms in the nearly 200-year-old structure are too small for a clubhouse and that substantial renovation would be required to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Szyska.

Loth, however, said he wanted to work with the commission, so he proposed building a clubhouse that looks like the farmhouse.

Szyska said she and other members of the commission were pleased with that idea. Loth, she added, showed them the plans for the clubhouse, which will be built according to the Federal style.

“This is a good thing,” she said. “It’s going to be beautiful.”

Loth said the Federal-style clubhouse will actually be more attractive that what was originally planned.

The commission will meet Monday at 3 p.m. to act on the developer’s request to demolish the original farmhouse. The town’s demolition delay bylaw authorizes the Historical Commission to save a historic building from being leveled for up to a year.

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