U. could move house targeted for demolition

To the Editor:

Though University officials have presented a seamless case for demolition of four historic houses in order to build the proposed engineering complex (“Engineering building plan calls for demolition of historic houses,” Sept. 24), Dean of Engineering Lawrence Larson’s statement that “there’s nothing we can do” is simply incorrect. The option of moving one of the houses, preferably the brick mansion at 37 Manning St., to the corner of Hope and George is a possibility. It could, albeit with great difficulty and at considerable cost, be squeezed through the gap between Barus and Holley and 182 George St.

Such a relocation would fill in the east end of the existing parking lot and right an old wrong of 50 years ago, when Brown foisted the behemoth Barus and Holley on the Hope Street neighborhood. The year-long town-gown battle over that expansion was intense, with the administration finally agreeing to rotate the building 90 degrees to minimize its impact. Brown President Barnaby Keeney attempted to inject some humor into the situation by quipping, “You will have to get used to higher education.”

Clearly Brown has a choice in this matter, but it is a matter of will and finances. Once the Hinckley House (circa 1900) is gone, it is gone forever, thereby diminishing Brown’s architectural heritage.

Peter Mackie ’59

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