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June 1, 2020
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Replica is No Substitution

Published May 20, 2020

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As lifelong residents of Madison who care deeply about the community and its history, we are deeply saddened to hear of the proposal by Adam Greenberg and Timothy Herbst to demolish the venerable General’s Residence.

In our three decades restoring historic properties, we have encountered every structural problem imaginable, and we emphatically believe no wood-framed building is ever truly beyond repair. Where there is a will, there is a way.

The charm of our community center is largely due to the diversity of its historic architecture. The General’s Residence has for centuries stood as a landmark on the east side of downtown, welcoming visitors and residents alike with its grand proportions and detailing. The building’s history as a residence to prominent citizens and most recently as a retail hub speaks to the flexibility and development potential of the property.

The Town of Madison has done a commendable job in safeguarding inappropriate development from turning Route 1 into the blighted commercial strips of the neighboring shoreline. However, the current proposal to tear down the existing historic structure in order to accommodate more units is completely out of line with previous efforts. A replica is no substitution for the real thing.

Smart development that reinvigorates historic properties benefits everyone. The proposal for the property at 908 Boston Post Road is not such an example. If there is one thing we have learned from making our business caring for historic properties, it is that short-sighted decisions have implications that last well beyond our lifetime.

We urge your readers to reach out to their elected officials and voice their disapproval of this proposal.

Peter Gulick
Travis Gulick
Madison