Tobacco Shed Story Continues

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The tale of the tobacco shed standing quite close behind a new home being constructed at 510 North Main Street was reported in the Observer’s October issue. The buyer had held off completing his purchase of the North Main Street parcel of the Stonegate residential development until the Suffield Historic District Commission had approved the shed’s demolition. But that approval had been overturned by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Construction has continued, and at the Observer’s current press time, it was well along. In recent weeks, this reporter was provided with clarification of some key aspects of the story.

Photo by Lester Smith
A carpenter on the scaffold bends to cut another piece as he completes the garage roof sheathing. The troublesome tobacco shed appears at the left, close to the rear corner of the house, where a rear-facing door opens to the garage for the owner’s RV.

We have learned significant information from Todd Levine. He is the state preservation officer to whom the Connecticut Attorney General’s office responded positively on the SHPO council’s unanimous request to deny demolition. Levine advises that the owner was presented with three choices:

  1. He could demolish the shed, hoping the legal consequence would be tolerable.
  2. He could find a satisfactory home for the shed and move it at his own expense.
  3. He could leave the shed in place and tolerate having it there.

With regard to Choice 2, the neighbor immediately south of the parcel, where there is a large empty back yard space at a comfortable distance from the existing house, had agreed to accept the barn, but not the expense of the short move. The owner of the barn chose Choice 3.

Levine said he was pleased that the barn would be saved. This writer commends the owner for his perseverance and his flexibility in accepting the barn’s interference with the broad, distant view for which he had chosen this location.

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