The Hosmer House, a 150+-year-old building in Lexington Center that has been vacant for more than a decade, has stood on Mass. Ave since its construction. But after key public approvals were finally completed last month, applicants John and Rosalina Carroll are moving the historic building to 39 and 43 Blossomcrest Road near the Route 2 ramp, clearing the way for construction of Lexington’s new, larger police station at 1575 Mass. Ave.
The Carrolls decided to take on moving the Hosmer House after reading that it could be fated for demolition in a Lexington newspaper, Rosalina Carroll wrote in an email to LexObserver. The Carrolls submitted a bid in response to the Town’s third Requests for Proposal (RFP). Two previous Town RFPs did not result in a satisfactory bid.
“We felt bad we were going to [lose] a piece of history in Lexington,” Rosalina Carroll wrote. “We felt with the exhaustive search of over 300 town owned locations, [o]ur location would work best in saving it from being moved out of town or being demolished.”
The Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved the Carrolls’ special permit application Oct. 13. The Planning Board also approved their application Oct. 19. This summer, the Select Board approved the sale of the Hosmer House and the Historic Districts Commission granted the Carrolls a Certificate of Appropriateness to move the house out of the historic district by a 4-2 vote.
“We thought it would [have] been a simple process, but there has been a lot of red tape,” Rosalina Carroll wrote in a September email.
The process of physically moving the Hosmer House takes roughly a week in total, according to Rosalina Carroll. The Carrolls plan to renovate the house for residential use.
Thank you and hats off to the Carroll’s for their hard work to save this charming period structure, which was clearly a challenging process. Their dedication is beyond commendable. However, the house in its current location, with the surrounding public open space appropriately improved, would have provided a gracious “Entrance” to Lexington Center, which was the intent of the original acquisition of the property by the Town. This intent has been thwarted. Instead, an oversized, out-of-scale police station is now in process to loom over the Center. Unfortunate.
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