As reported in this week’s Town Crier, the Butters Farmhouse suffered a partial roof collapse last week. Reader Craig Musicant, who lives in the area, sent this photo along.
The Butters Farmhouse has been in the news because the town is hoping to save the historical structure by selling it with various preservation restrictions attached. Article #36 on the Town Meeting Warrant attempts to do just that.
Musicant spoke at Wednesday night’s Finance Committee/Planning Board Public Hearing. Musicant, and his neighbor Chris Perry, argued the building suffers from a “significant maintenance deficit” and would “hate to see the house deteriorate any further.” “It contributes to the historical character of the town,” noted Musicant.
At Thursday’s Finance Committee Meeting, Assistant Town Manager Kendra Amaral said it was the town’s position not to put any work into the building. “The building is in bad shape. We can’t fix the roof. There’s so many structural issues with that building,” she said. “If you take a look at the interior, there’s nothing in there to support anything,” noted Finance Committee Chair John Doherty. A tarp is currently over the hole in the roof.
Amaral noted that there are people who will buy antique period homes, invest in them, and live in them. A real estate agent from Ipswich, who specializes in antique homes, previously indicated he could find a buyer, she noted. Conversations have already begun, in fact, with Historic New England, an organization which would help draft the covenants on the deeds and monitor the property in perpetuity. “A building is best preserved when it’s occupied,” stressed Amaral.