Lynnfield working to keep history alive

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
The town of Lynnfield is placing historic restrictions on the Centre Farm property at 567 Main St. in preparation for putting the farm up for sale.

BY LEAH DEARBORN

LYNNFIELD — The Lynnfield Historical Commission wants to make sure Centre Farm retains its historic facade.

Steve Todisco, chairman of the commission, presented the Board of Selectmen with revised restrictions regarding the property on Wednesday.

When the commission voted on the revised regulations on Oct. 18, they originally asked for oversight regarding any future changes made to front and side facades of the house.

After reviewing the restrictions, however, the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) wanted to take them a step further and include oversight to changes made on the rear facade as well.

“We really look forward to the possibility of a new owner,” said Todisco. “It’s just going to be a great thing to see it preserved.”

Todisco added that there’s a mural in the dining room that the town will have access to in the event that the building is sold. He said it depicts a landscape scene with characters and is so large that the individual vignettes will have to be carefully cut out and removed.

Located at 567 Main St. across from Town Common, Centre Farm was built by the Rev. Joseph Mottey in 1785 and rebuilt in 1810. It’s one of the oldest buildings in town.

The town purchased the 7,167-square-foot home for $1.4 million in 2014 to prevent it from falling into the hands of a private buyer and possibly being demolished or redeveloped.

Town Meeting voted to authorize the board to sell or lease the Centre Farm property back in April.

Philip Crawford, chairman of the board, said that because the final draft of the revised regulations has been approved, it will now go back to the MHC for review. The board can then issue a type of bidding solicitation called a request for proposal (RFP), initiating the sale process.

Town Administrator James M. Boudreau said that the property will likely be ready to go on the market by early December. He said that as of the last appraisal, the minimum bid for Centre Farm was set at $900,000.

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