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   From the Editor

    After Brownie Castle, the oldest house in Derby, dating to 1689, was leveled by its owner on January 26. Derby resident John D. Poole was determined that the house shall not have died in vain. As Poole points out in his article, “Requiem for an Old House,” in this issue, the most shocking aspect of the situation is that the owner broke no laws demolishing the house. The house was not within a historical district. It was not listed on the National or State Register of historic buildings and it wasn’t subject to a preservation easement.

    Poole would like this to be a wake-up call, not just for Derby but for the rest of the state and everywhere where there are old houses in danger. He points out that the sudden destruction of Brownie Mansion could not have happened in Milford, where they have implemented a municipal-wide historic preservation ordinance, including a demolition delay ordinance. Brownie Castle will not have perished in vain if its story motivates the passing of protective ordinances which end up saving other community treasures.

  The most interesting thing to me is how Poole interviewed people of all walks of life in Derby:  they all expressed not just a sense of personal loss but an angry feeling that something has been stolen from them that can’t be replaced.

                                                                                           Max H. Peters


 

 

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