Letter to the Editor: Preserve the Architectural Integrity of the Plymouth Congregational

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[Editor’s note: The Belmont Historic District Commission will hear from Glenn Herosian and Ron Creamer as the commission continues discussion of Plymouth Congregational Church on Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.]

To the editor:

The Plymouth Congregational Church is the single important and centrally-located building in Belmont’s Pleasant Street Historic District (BHDC). Its commanding steeple and symmetrical buildings are a visual focal point for the neighborhood and visitors passing through Belmont. The Church represents an important style piece that holds together and defines the diverse historic fabric of the district.

Fortunately, the church falls under the strict “Design Guidelines of the Belmont Historic District.” Despite these safeguards, the threat of losing this historic building remains a deep neighborhood concern after the unfortunate demolition of the Waverly Congregational Church. The town’s Demolition Delay Bylaw was enacted as a reaction to this emotional loss for the Waverly community. However, this bylaw will not be enough to keep the same fate from happening to the Plymouth Church should the congregation weaken or relocate in future years.

Our neighborhood group insists that the BHDC enforce its stringent guidelines and follow its documented policy of allowing only the use of original wood materials in all necessary changes to the church’s exterior.

We demand the immediate action by the church and the BHDC to maintain and preserve the building’s architecturally-important details with a strict interpretation of its design bylaws without compromise. As the heart of the Historic District and the gateway used by innumerable citizens to access many conservation areas and town center, the church and the BHDC has a responsibility to its citizens to preserve the historical integrity of this church and maintain the harmony of this community.

The Neighborhood Group Against the Plymouth Church Cell Phone Tower

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Comments

  1. Kimberly Becker says

    I am a small business owner in Belmont Center. As a small business owner, I experience the frustration of terrible cell service on a daily basis. Almost every Verizon call made from my office drops before the call is finished. In fact, Belmont is a “known dead zone” for cell service. If this is about some louvres on the side of a very tall steeple, I am sorry but I think it’s worth it. If there is something else going on here, please enlighten me. That is my somewhat selfish view- sorry, but cell phones are central in our world, and the service is so very important. I have tried to understand not wanting a cell tower in view of your home, but this will be hidden. It seems perfect to me.

  2. John Bowe says

    It sounds like the vocal opponents are twisting the intent of Historic District guidelines to maneuver to HDC into getting their way. And of course what happened to the Waverly Congregational Church is not relevant.

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