Home » Programs » Education & Training » FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: From Historic Neglect to Historic Preservation

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: From Historic Neglect to Historic Preservation


neglected houseMy calendar recently reminded me that it’s time to paint my house… again. It doesn’t seem like five years has gone by already. I remember the ‘good old days’ when I would paint my house every ten years. Somehow, the technology of paints does not seem to have progressed like other technologies which usually improve over time. For other maintenance items, e.g., roofing, seems to hold to the 30-40 year schedule depending on the quality and type of roofing. Most of us who have owned homes for some time, keep track of those items of maintenance that must be repeated every certain number of years. Paint, roofing, septic system pumping, driveway paving, etc. Some who are especially well organized might even set money aside for those activities when they occur. It’s called maintenance planning or capital maintenance planning.

This is a management tool that the town of Harvard in the past has not used well. Were we to have had a good capital maintenance program in place, our Town Hall would have been repaired, repainted, reroofed, etc., many, many years ago. Surely, we would have saved money.

But I am picking on our town management. Actually, many of us are guilty of the same fault. Drive around and look at some of our homes; there are one or two on  prominent display in the Harvard Common Historic District that are in need of maintenance. We can do better.

For our Commissioners:  we will be taking up the subject of ‘Demolition by Neglect’ in the days ahead. We’ve added some reading to your ‘Commissioners’ Page’ for your consideration:  Demolition-By-Neglect” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Study the paper. We will be interested in your opinions and comments on that important topic.

More important:  what do we want to do about it?

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