'White House' Demolition Slated to Start Today
Stabilization of the building’s main block should begin within the next week or so.
In recent years Lexington’s own White House has been every bit as polarizing as the POTUS’s abode at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. down in Washington D.C.
The Lexington version, located at 1557 Massachusetts Ave., was the subject of considerable debate in the lead up to annual Town Meeting’s approval this spring of an expenditure to stabilize the main block of the decaying Greek Revival, while the remainder of the building will be demolished.
That demolition begins today, according to Pat Goddard, the town’s director of public facilities. Last week, the town received bids for the stabilization work, and officials are looking to sign a contract in the next week so that work can begin soon.
Earlier this year, town boards considered a $381,000 capital expenditure for the stabilization project, which would rehabilitate the main block through things like structural and roof repairs. Under the initial proposal, a portion of that cost would have been covered by CPA funds, but the town’s Community Preservation Committee balked at the request.
Among the many White House future plans floated earlier this year, ideas included stabilizing and moving a portion of the house to be used for affordable housing elsewhere in town; renovating the structure for use as office space or a community center and even razing the building and using the land as the location for a tent party to celebrate Lexington’s 300th.
According to Goddard, the current plans are to update and stabilize the White House’s main block for the immediate future as the newly authorized Ad Hoc Townwide Facilities Master Planning Committee evaluates how the structure could fit a municipal need.