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Barn with Ties to Robert Frost to be Torn Down

By Harriet Staff

From the Daily Hampshire Gazette:

The owner of a century-old barn at 290 Lincoln Ave., next to a home Robert Frost visited periodically during his time in Amherst, will be permitted to tear it down.

The Historical Commission voted unanimously not to exercise its use of the demolition delay bylaw, which could have required property owner You-Pan Tzeng of Longmeadow to wait a year before removing the structure. Members found the barn is not a historically significant building. Still, they chastised Tzeng for seeking to destroy it.

Then, later:

The home and barn were built in the early 1900s by Warren Brown, an Amherst businessman who also wrote a book titled “Attractive Amherst.” Brown was a friend to Frost, but there was no indication the barn was used as an artist’s studio until claims were made by a real estate agent in recent years.

“There was considerable discussion about the provenance of the barn, and it could not be established that Robert Frost composed poetry there,” Hanke said.

Associate Planner Nathaniel Malloy said the barn also didn’t meet other conditions of significance, such as for its style or its association with the Brown family. Some argued that its significance could be derived from having a female architect, though that, too, was dismissed, Malloy said.

Tzeng told the commission that he believes the 28-by-48-foot, 1½-story barn poses a liability for his tenants.

Full article here.


Posted in Poetry News on Monday, September 24th, 2012 by Harriet Staff.