State May Save Old Tobacco Shed

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With support from many Suffieldians, an interested neighbor has persuaded the Connecticut State Preservation Council to take action toward preventing the demolition of an old tobacco shed that stood in the way of an intended house construction project on North Main Street, the Stonegate housing subdivision. This project includes three existing houses and about a dozen new ones, including one fronting on North Main. Klaire Bielonko, who lives a half mile south of the shed (a.k..a. barn) and would like to preserve the historic character of the town, began a campaign to fight the demolition. The demolition plan and her campaign have caused a good deal of activity on social media.

Photo by Lester Smith
The relevant state agency has been persuaded to take an interest in saving this old tobacco shed.

The proposed demolition was reported in the April 2022 issue of The Observer, which referenced the Suffield Historic District Commission’s approval of the demolition at its February 2022 meeting. Oddly, the list of commission meetings in the Town’s website omits the minutes of the March meeting, whose agenda included the approval of the February meeting minutes as an item of business to be considered. The Observer intends to explore this omission.

Bielonko assembled a good record of the commission meetings and supporting information and asked the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which includes the State Historic Preservation Council, to intervene. She got that agency’s attention. The May 2 meeting of the council took up the issue of this threatened property and, after reviewing it in detail, voted unanimously to refer the matter to the Attorney General’s office for possible action.

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