Board, Assoc. Should work together
This letter is not intended to agree or disagree with the decision to raze the A.N. Myers house, but rather to ask a few questions and to make some comments.
It is not clear to me whether the $1 million figure is for basic repairs to use the house as an exhibition hall for items in storage and future acquisitions or to return it to its former appearance as a house.
I also have heard nothing about the intention of the use of the land if the house is razed. Would another structure be built? I have been told the trustees have known for two months they planned to raze the house, while the museum website was telling of renovation.
Were there any plans to notify the Historical Society membership of the demolition plans before the wrecking ball arrived?
As I understand it, the members of the Center Street Association plan to hire a restoration architect at heir own expense for a second opinion for the restoration and the trustees have agreed to wait until his assessment before demolition.
In 1976, when Alta Sims did the research which led to the acceptance of this street on the National Register as a Historic District, she consulted with Jeff Darby, who was with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office. He called it “A veritable textbook of architectural styles.”
Just as European cities have an “Old Town” it seems important attempts be made to maintain a part of Ashland as it used to be. I would hope the trustees would share this vision. I commend those homeowners in the District who have maintained their properties well.
To the best of my knowledge, it has never been publicized Bill Wiley left the museum $3 million in stocks, according to the executor of his estate.
Anyone who knew Bill knew of his love for Ashland. At one point he had a parlor set re-upholstered and gave it to the museum because it had been in his family for generations and he didn’t want it sold and moved out of town.
I believe the goals of the Historical Society Board of Trustees, Museum employees and the Center Street Association should be similar and hope they can find a way to be “good neighbors.” The first step towards this goal is “communication.”