Wethersfield Looking To Restore Historic Buildings

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Classic New England charm is hard to miss in Old Wethersfield, and city leaders want to make sure it never disappears.

Through a $50,000 grant town leaders allowed outside sources to look into how Old Wethersfield can preserve its character.

They held a public meeting Wednesday evening to discuss plans they have for preserving the town, which include some major revitalization and support from property owners.

“Comstock Ferre is one of the oldest continuous seedhouses in North America,” said Randel Agrella, General Manager of Comstock Ferre.

The historic building has served as a vibrant seedhouse, one of three places the town of Wethersfield is looking to restore.

The proposal would make it into part seedhouse and part historical attraction, like a museum, which is something the owners are open to.

The Simeon Belden House is being looked at as specialty retail, office space and/or residential. One of the proposals would even move the historic structure to Church Street, however, it doesn’t sit well with the owner and community members.

The empty Masonic Hall would turn into a combination of retail/performance space or even residential.

“We’re trying to be proactive and come up with some ideas as to how to reuse the historic properties rather than reconstructing and demolish them,” said Town Planner Peter Gillespie.

Some residents had some hesitations about the proposals, saying they were unsure of how the town would afford it.

“We live in town and we want to know what they are doing,” said Mira Schlein.

“The concept sounds like a good idea but in practicality you are dealing with privately owned homes,” said Deputy Mayor, John Console.

The meeting was purely for public input and city leaders will take into consideration all the questions and concerns brought on by residents.

Funding for the revitalization project is not yet known. They are looking at grants, tax incentives and other options to assist with the plans.


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