Numerous Negative Aspects
The plan to preserve the house at 3431 Durham Road has nothing going for it but has numerous negative aspects. Age alone does not enhance the structure’s value. An inspection of the home shows little to show for its history; a visitor would gain next to nothing by stopping in. Most anything of interest has been stripped away by several renovations.
The house itself is in extremely poor condition, and it would be a money pit to bring up to par. After renovation, there would be maintenance expenses, utility costs, and the necessity of having a person on site to show the interior. The plan to make a safer intersection would be thwarted, as access to Lake Drive and Hoop Pole Road would either have to remain as is or become a serpentine route. The house is presently a traffic hazard because it obscures sight lines. To move it would be costly if such a relocation has feasibility at all.
The house is a prime example of the futility of Guilford’s Blight Ordinance. Several neighbors, myself included, attempted several times to get abatement action before the Town purchased the house in question, with no result. At least two other sites within a mile of the dam, one with the roof actually caving in, have seen the same outcome. What is the point of an ordinance that is not enforced?
The Town came up with a practical plan for the dam/bridge/road before the house preservation scheme arose. I appreciate the progress of a Black man, Ham Primis, being free to live in North Guilford circa 1815. A better way to acknowledge this advance would be to erect a monument similar to the one on Great Hill Road, denoting the birthplace of Abraham Baldwin, at the Quonnipaug location.