Monday, March 12, 2018

More than 100 people "sign" letter to Williams president seeking stay of execution for razing of historic Hoxsey Street house; hearing Tuesday?

The letter below asserts "misrepresentations" by the college.  Among signers are present and former members of the town's historical commission and Historical Museum.  The 42 Hoxsey Street home was the residence of the late Dagmar Bubriski, who was a well-known resident of the town. Ms. Bubriski's daughter writes that the town's Historical Commission has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow (Tuesday, March 13, 2018) in Town Hall at 3 p.m. to consider the matter.

See: Earlier Post 

Wanda Bubriski email  received Monday, March 12 
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: W.A. Bubriski <>
Date: Mon, Mar 12, 2018 at 12:34 PM
Subject: 42 Hoxsey Building - Please Confirm Receipt

TO: President Protik Majumder:
Chair of Board of Trustees, via Megan Morey, VP for College Relations:
William Barkin, Chair, Williamstown Historical Commission: 

CC: Charles Lovett:
Jim Kolesar:

(The Following Letter is also attached as a PDF document.  All signatories have "signed" via email exchange.)

Friends of 42 Hoxsey Street, Williamstown, Mass.

March 12, 2018

To the President and Trustees of Williams College, and the Williamstown Historical Commission:

We are shocked, outraged and saddened to hear of the decision of Williams College to tear down the house at 42 Hoxsey Street—a decision representing callous disregard of the town's history. Dating from 1880, it graces the 1889 Map of Williamstown; it is one of the grandest residences still standing in the heart of town.  It is a focal point of the street—a historic district.

Last April 3, when Williams College purchased the property from Wanda Bubriski, whose family had resided on the property since 1954, the College said it intended to use it for construction offices, then faculty housing.  Multiple inaccuracies and misrepresentations characterize the College's description of the condition of the house in the advertisement for its sale. Over $200,000 of improvements were made to the house between 2014 and 2016.  Among the improvements are: asbestos removed; new plumbing for two new bathrooms installed; complete house re-wired and converted to gas; new gas furnace and water heater installed; entire interior painted; new windows on second floor installed; tiger oak flooring fully sanded and stained; leaded glass windows preserved and reconstructed. These enhancements augment the 9-foot ceilings, gracious spatial arrangement, and details like the French doors and Bennington ceramic fireplace surround.   

Williams's advertisement presented a deteriorating construction—an insult to all the tradesmen and women who worked so hard on the house.  Most people who have walked through that fan-lighted front door into the capacious central hall respond with a "WOW"—including your own staff. Distortions and lack of accuracy regarding the condition is reprehensible.

To the Historical Commission: 
The house and barn at 42 Hoxsey Street embody a rare example of unaltered spatial layout, with its balloon-construction visible in the attic and its wrap around porch can be seen on the 1889 Map. The house carries cultural significance as well contributing to the fabric of the community, its history and values. From 1954 to 2011, it was the home of Dagmar Bubriski, a community leader, a columnist, a radio host, and a widow at 37 who raised a family of four while being the loudest cheerleader and staunchest defender of Williamstown historic and cultural preservation. This history deserves to be preserved.  We object to this house being torn down and its history lost.

Sadly, the College's attitude toward historic preservation is nearly non-existent. When it serves the corporate expansion needs of its ever-increasing bureaucracy, it simply plows down historic structures. (Examples include the Opera House, Harper House—and if Williams had had its way decades ago, we would have lost Van Rensselaer House— fortunately, part of it ended up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

We strongly urge Williams reconsider its decision to tear down and throw away this important historical building.

Respectfully signed,

Family, Friends, Historians, Architects and Admirers of 42 Hoxsey St. Building and 
Legacy of Dagmar Neuburg Bubriski

1.     Wanda Bubriski, MA '82                    
2.     Charles Bonenti, former chair and board member of Williamstown Historical Commission
3.     Elma Sanders, former board member of Williamstown Historical Commission
4.     Susan Schneski, Board of Williamstown Historical Museum, former board member of Williamstown Historical Commission
5.     Sandra Webber, former board member of Williamstown Historical Commission
6.     Andrew Dolkart, Professor of Historic Preservation, Columbia University
7.     William Doughty '55                          
8.     Richard Doughty '80                          
9.     Roger Doughty '84                             
10.  Ron Stegall '60           
11.  Paul Boyer '77
12.  Beverly Willis, FAIA                          
13.  Peter Bubriski                                     
14.  Kevin Bubriski           
15.  Nadine Neuburg Doughty (Dagmar's sister)
16.  Kathleen Neuburg Kingscott              
17.  Dr. Laura McKeon
18.  Mark Bubriski
19.  Jean Bubriski
20.  Dr. Anne Bubriski
21.  Christine Bubriski                               
22.  Katie Bubriski                                    
23.  Ryan Bubriski
24.  Tara Bubriski                                      
25.  Kate Powers
26.  Peter McKenzie
27.  Selasssie McKenzie
28.  Lionel McKenzie
29.  Paul McKenzie
30.  Rachel Park
31.  Jessica Park
32.  Prof. Katherine Park
33.  Paul Park                                            
34.  Deborah Brothers                               
35.  Andrew Failes
36.  Guy Hedreen                                      
37.  Patrick Quinn                                     

Continued, Family, Friends, Historians, Architects and Admirers of 42 Hoxsey St. Building and 
Legacy of Dagmar Neuburg Bubriski

38.  Juliet Flynt                                         
39.  Elizabeth Winthrop
40.  Karen Gundersheimer                        
41.  Werner Gundersheimer
42.  Sally Stocking
43.  Jennifer Norton Jayko
44.  Karen England
45.  Wavalene "Jinx" Tong                        
46.  Deborah Burns                                   
47.  Adrianna H. Millenaar Brown            
48.  Dr. Elizabeth Van Cleve, Director, Oral History of American Music, Yale University           
49.  Dr. Suzanne Noruschat
50.  Kevin Flicker 
51.  Norma Petersen                                  
52.  Dr. Carl Petersen                                            
53.  Dr. Erica Petersen                                          
54.  Karen A. Patterson                             
55.  Susan Dahill                           
56.  Mary O'Meara            
57.  Meg Kent
58.  Jim Youngerman                     
59.  Jane Goodrich
60.  Margaret Smithglass                
61.  Greg Carpenter
62.  Linda Cummings                     
63.  Daniel Osman
64.  Leslie Rigby                            
65.  Dr. Andrew Clark                               
66.  Mara Cherkasky, Historian & Co-Founder, Prologue                       
67.  Savannah Randall                   
68.  Kelly Ann Hill                        
69.  Dr. Nancy Smith                                
70.  Prof. Shirley McCarthy, MD               
71.  Luz Judith Shosie                   
72.  Linda Ingram                                      
73.  Paula Wells                             
74.  Marjorie Chamberlain             
75.  Abbie Hatton                         
76.  Andrea Nuciforo                    
77.  Elizabeth Smith
78.  Sam Smith
79.  Bruce Pierce                           
80.  Suzette Pierce
81.  Dr. Cynthia Hammond, Co-Director, Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling, and Prof. of Art History, Concordia University, Montreal
Continued, Family, Friends, Historians, Architects and Admirers of 42 Hoxsey St. Building and 
Legacy of Dagmar Neuburg Bubriski

82.  Mike Miller, Creator & Curator, Williamstown History Email Group
83.  Philip Wagner, AIA
84.  Anneliese Vollweiler
85.  Heidi Gifford
86.  Luanne Spooner                     
87.  Lynne Mersfelder-Lewis
88.  Michael Heslip
89.  Donald Lewis                         
90.  Liz Thompson                        
91.  Susan T. Smith           
92.  Tela Zasloff                            
93.  Pete Richardson                     
94.  Sean Joyce                              
95.  Betsy Burris                
96.  Patricia Siskind                                               
97.  Jean Donati
98.  Nina Donati
99.  Donald Sanders
100. Diane Favro, Professor Emeritus, UCLA, Samuel H. Kress Professor, Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts, National Gallery, Washington, DC
101. Sylvia Smith, FAIA, Senior Partner, FXCollaborative Architects


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