I am all in favor of having an upscale hotel in the Borough but not at the expense of the integrity of our National Register Historic District. In the Borough’s one square mile, there are other sites, outside the historic District, for a hotel that would still be within walking distance of the shopping/dining district.
I am opposed to the demolition of the three buildings at Cypress and Broad. The intent of the HARB ordinance is to protect and preserve the integrity of the historic district. Resources in the Historic District shouldn’t be evaluated on their contribution to the historic district, by lawyers, developers or those who stand to profit from their demolition.
I’ve heard arguments that there are other houses “just like” the ones that would be demolished and that no one important lived there. Both are weak defenses for demolition. At the time of their construction, the 2 houses and the stable were built by prominent citizens of the Borough. Washington Alexander was the first owner of 120 S. Broad Street (1872) and a founding member of Union Hill Cemetery. John C. Yeatman, first owner of 116 S. Broad Street (1883), served in the Civil War, was a member of Kennett Square Borough Council, was an elder of Kennett monthly meeting and served on the Kennett Board of Education.
Another consideration is the effect that a 5 to 7 story building would have on the street scape of 100 block of S Broad. The beautifully restored old firehouse and the homes on the east side of S. Broad would be dwarfed- even Holly Peter’s shop and especially Tom Martin’s house on the corner would look out of place and insignificant.
As a property and business owner and former resident, I urge you to seriously consider the HARB’s recommendation on this proposed demolition. Take the time to read Chapter 9, Historic Resources in the 2010 Comprehensive Plan and the HARB ordinance which was passed in 2013, after the Comprehensive Plan was published. Vote to oppose demolition in National Register Historic District- ask the developers to choose another location in the borough.
D. Lynn SinclairKennett