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Chester County Press

Historic preservation or not?

02/04/2014 05:03PM ● By Acl

Letter to the Editor:

As I read of Kennett Square residents and borough authorities debating the virtues of historic Preservation, I can understand why voices of opposition reveal a distrust of local government exercising more interference over private property. 

Using energy-efficient windows which imitate historic styles is sufficient. Requiring anyone to install wooden window is just plain short-sighted and is the type of excessive behavior which deteriorates trust in local government. However, architecture as much as noise, crime, and available parking can greatly affect the value of not only an individual property but also those next door and down the street. Please consider the 200 Block of E. Linden street. Examples of 1860s to 1920s historic archetypes could eventually be restored creating a residential atmosphere to rival West Chester’s W. Dean Street, with real estate values to match. E. Linden is already a quiet side street only half a block off the main drag and snuggled next to the park. One house in particular has preserved enough of the original charm to demonstrate what this street could one day look like. 

Unfortunately, there are two building whose architectures are so odd their existence is detrimental to the atmosphere and property values on the rest of this block. They are easily the most awkward-looking residential structures in the borough. Even the owners could have benefited from some architectural intervention as one residence is now for sale with an asking price below what the square footage, location, and other amenities might fetch, if only their appearance reflected their small town America heritage. Local officials should be careful not to let their egos get carried away with their authority. Local residents are right to be suspicious and vigilant. But protecting property values is actually a code required obligation for Kennett Square Borough officials, section 23-3(b)(1), which may occasionally require architectural oversight. … And I feel sorry for the owner of this strange-looking E. Linden Street property, and their neighbors. 

David P. Adamson

Kennett Square