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Framingham State University considering razing historic Framingham home to build parking lot

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  March 20, 2013 06:22 PM

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State officials have purchased a plot of land on Worcester Road near Framingham State University on the college's behalf, and plans to raze a historic home on the property to build a parking lot for the school.

They want to pave over history, and put up a parking lot.

A state agency has purchased a plot of land near Framingham State University on behalf of the school, and plans are in the works to potentially demolish a failing historic home on the site, dubbed the "1812 House," and construct a university parking lot in its stead, according to school officials.

According to state land records, the Massachusetts State College Building Authority has purchased 1000 Worcester Rd., a plot spanning nearly 22,000 square feet, for $635,000 on March 13.

The house in question, however, has been in a declining state. A notice on the structure warns residents to "keep out," declaring it "dangerous and unsafe for human occupancy."

Dan Magazu, spokesman for Framingham State, said the university is considering the lot for parking after receiving negative feedback from neighbors on plans to build a parking garage.

The garage was slated to make up for spots lost when the university builds a new 250- to 300-bed dorm on campus, which would be located on one of the school's current parking lots. The dorm is slated to open fall 2016.

"The discussion of a parking garage is not a popular idea - neighbors to the campus are opposed to a garage going up," Magazu said. "This is part of our efforts to avoid building a garage and to also satisfy our parking needs."

A surface-level parking lot would also help the university save money: estimations for constructing a garage came in at over $20 million, Magazu said. Building a parking lot instead would cost far less, although officials are still working on a specific estimation, he said.

Magazu said the university is also planning to conduct a six-month study scrutinizing the environmental and historical impacts of constructing parking spaces there. The study would also help identify how many spots could fit on the plot.

The earliest the university could begin construction is late fall, Magazu said. There is no estimated timeframe for finishing the project.

Annie Murphy, director of the Framingham History Center, said the 1812 House is on the town's Cultural Resource Inventory, which lists buildings with historic value in Framingham, but declined to comment further.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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