Old Homes Gone

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Photo by Lester Smith

These two old homes on North Street are pictured in mid-May, shortly before they were demolished for the construction of three “high-end” replacements.

Here today and gone tomorrow. That’s how fast a building comes down these days, and several weeks ago that’s what happened on North Street, just south of the Halladay Avenue intersection.

The two old homes, one an early 20th century Sears Roebuck bungalow, the other an early 19th century Federal period farmhouse, were located on Suffield’s state-designated scenic highway, and in recent years they contributed only a bit of passing history to the scene. The South and North Main Street portion of the scenic highway is, to a degree, controlled by the Town’s Historic District Commission, which could not demur on North Street to the demolition of these old testaments to Suffield history.

The two properties, which together totaled over eight acres and 450 feet of frontage on North Street, were acquired by Blanchette Building on April 1.

In mid-May, the hazardous material removal contractor (asbestos, fluorescent light ballasts, and lead pipes, presumably) told the Observer’s inquisitive reporter that the lots, which together totaled over seven acres, were to be replaced by three high-end homes, which, he added, “you and I couldn’t afford.” Perhaps these derelict buildings were not worth saving, but the photographer recalls fondly that the late Larry Belden, a local plumber, always had a big, illuminated star on the gable of the older house at Christmas, before such decorations became a widespread custom.

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