Raze old house and put parking lot in Kennett Square

Photo by Fran Maye This house and carriage barn at 121 Meredith Street in Kennett Square under agreement of sale by a businessman who wants to turn the property into a public parking lot.

A petition circulating around Kennett Square asks people to oppose a businessman’s plan to buy a 90-year-old house and carriage barn and convert it into public parking spaces.

Larry Bosley, owner of Liberty Place at 148 W. State Street, said he has an agreement of sale for the house located at 121 Meredith Street, but is now evaluating other options. He’s doing this because he doesn’t want to offend some people who feel razing the house and building a parking lot would be detrimental to the one square mile borough.

Hundreds of people signed the petition, but many of those who signed do not live in the borough.

“I really thought I was doing something good for the town,” Bosley said when asked why he thought people were opposing his plan.

Actually, Bosley is doing something good for the town. He plans to buy the house, raze it, build a parking lot and give it to the borough for public use. Lack of parking is a common complaint in Kennett Square, and this is an incredibly generous offer Bosley is making.

Of course, the land is within easy walking distance of his newest venture, Liberty Place, in which he envisions about 15 different vendors selling fresh produce, meats, baked products, fish, pizza, coffee and more.

Bosley is planning to open Liberty Place before the end of the year. He isn’t sure just yet whether the existing parking he has available now is sufficient. If not, he could keep his option to buy the house and tear it down for the parking lot.

But the borough’s historic commission rejected his plan. That means borough council will have the final say. Bosley hasn’t taken it to council yet, and is unsure which way the decision would go.

We feel a parking lot at that site would be an excellent use. Like anyone else, we don’t want to see old buildings razed, because once they are gone, a little bit of history goes with it. But why let one building stand in the way of real progress? Washington didn’t sleep there. It’s a house and a carriage barn. There’s a real need for parking in town.

Bosley and his son Geoff have Kennett Square’s interest at heart if they weren’t absolutely certain this wouldn’t be beneficial to the borough, they wouldn’t do it. Larry Bosley is one of the men who volunteered his time to come up with the Kennett Square Gateway Project, a plan that would transform the town and involves the library, the park, the borough and the Kennett Area YMCA. The YMCA has withdrawn because they needed expansion sooner rather than later, but the plan is still viable.

We hope Bosley will not be deterred by the naysayers and continue with his plan to raze the building. It’s for the greater good. History will still be a big part of Kennett Square without the house.