Historic Tappan House to Be Demolished

Attleboro's historic Tappan House will be leveled.

After an entire year of Attleboro residents and officials trying to save a historic home in Attleboro from , the old historic Victorian known as the Tappan House will be leveled.

The proposal to move the Tappan House began a decade ago. Since then, which owns the home, worked with city officials to sell and

"No takers ever came forward, which led to Sturdy pulling a demolition permit late last year," Attleboro Mayor Kevin Dumas said.

Several residents, including Maria Wrightington of the Attleboro Historical Society, joined together in an effort to halt the demolition. Dumas and the hospital worked out an agreement to move the Tappan House to a vacant lot, owned by Marathon Co., on Pearl Street.

In order for the plan to work, officials needed to first find a buyer. The city, through a nonprofit organization it formed, sought a buyer. The minimum bid was $250,000.

"My staff and me spent almost a year working with the hospital in order to save the Tappan House," Dumas said. "We spent hundreds of hours overcoming many hurdles in the complexity of moving such a structure. Even though we did so, in the end, the property in which the house was to move to was not able to come to reality. We did everything possible within our power."

There was, however, a last-minute attempt to save the Tappan when someone stepped forward with interest in buying the house, according to Dumas.

"Once again, the city stepped forward and used its best efforts to help broker a new deal between these private parties," Dumas wrote in a letter dated Oct. 4 to Attleboro city councilors. "However, and despite the best efforts of everyone involved, the details of a new agreement could simply not be hammered out by these private parties."

Sturdy Memorial did not reply to requests for comment.

Attleboro Concerned Citizen October 15, 2011 at 04:43 PM
I everyone is so concerned about the Tappen House, why not form a citizens corporation to purchase the house, raise the funds, and move yourself. Everyone is willing to call Sturdy the bad guy in this, but I don't see anyone offering solutions of their own. So people step up to the plate, and don't wait for government or Sturdy, take it upon yourselves and step in and do something to save this building if your so concerned. It seems to me that everyone wants to bellyache and blame someone else, but no-one wants to offer a solution.
Maria October 16, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Thanks Roxanne for telling it like it is!!!! We do need some new blood in our city council. Members who will have the courage to stand up for what's right and not allow themselves to be swayed by greedy big businesses.
Anita Lichtenberger October 17, 2011 at 01:01 AM
A solution has been offered. Beautiful structure like Tappan can be preserved by being used in new ways. Private home owners, businesses and HOSPITALS have preserved existing structures and adapting them to their current need. Up until now exploring adaptive reuse has been impossible because sturdy Has been unwilling to share any information about their plans for the lot after demolition. A recent artle in the sun chronicle said sturdy wanted to build a parking lot on the site. if sturdy was willing to communicate with the community regarding their plans we have reuse architects who would consider possible design options. Unfortunately, Sturdy refuses to comment to inquiries from our local papers and Ms. Shyavitz hung up on a senior former member of government when asked about the plans for the lot..
yerkillinme October 17, 2011 at 04:28 PM
Anita, did I miss your being elected spokesperson for the Community? When did you become the arbiter of whether Sturdy is fulfilling it's community obligations? This one issue which has a few vocal opponents does not automatically mean they're not meeting their community obligations no matter how many times you repeat it or try to rationalize your position nor does it take away Sturdy's property rights. Just because they haven't explained their plans/ options/rationale to your person satisfaction doesn't mean they haven't done so with the Mayor and City officials while trying and come to a solution. Sturdy doesn't claim to be a nonprofit charitable institution, they are a not-for-profit institution, there's a difference. Your continued exaggeration and downright factual errors aren't helping your credibility. Sturdy and City officials have explored all available options however the only option suitable for you is the one option which isn't acceptable to Sturdy, to dump $2 Million+ into a house they have no real use for which is located in a less than desirable spot.
yerkillinme October 17, 2011 at 05:29 PM
Anita, the only solution I'm hearing from you is the one option Sturdy can't do, dump $2+ Million into the house and leave it where it is. You continue to say they have been unwilling to share information about their plans. Just because YOU don't know what their plans are doesn't mean they have been unwilling to share them nor that they haven't shared them with the "community". Ms. Shyavitz is a professional and she has said all that needs to be said on the matter to the people it needs to be said to (I think the Mayor & City Council are adequate representatives of the "community"). I'm not surprised she's not commenting in the press now because that would be pointless. In addition, the hatchet pieces and distortions the Sun Chronicle have printed about her and this subject probably factor into her justifiable unwillingness to comment any further at this point. You have exaggerated and been factually incorrect enough times in this thread that I have to take your comment about Ms. Shyavitz hanging up on someone with a grain of salt. The more likely scenario is that the conversation was over but the"senior former member of government" wouldn't take no for an answer when the answer was, in fact, no. There comes a point when beating a dead horse serves no purpose.


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