Historical Commission discusses FRS garden, maps

by Karina Coombs and Janet Hentschel

Historical Commission Chair Nathan Brown gave the Historical Commission an update on the First Religious Society (FRS) Infinity Memorial Garden during the meeting on June 18. He and Secretary Gretchen Caywood met with an FRS member in early June to discuss the organization’s Certificate of Appropriateness application for its garden.

The commission had first asked the FRS to develop a plan to screen a set of large memorial stones in June 2012 after some residents criticized their visibility. FRS presented information at the commission’s March 2013 meeting, but members asked for additional information such as copies of the original site plan for the garden with notations on where proposed plantings would be placed.

At some point during discussions between the two groups it became clear that screening was going to be more difficult than expected, and the commission decided it was more appropriate to discuss and vote on the garden in its entirety—including its layout, materials and screening options. The memorial stones were erected last year, while the flowers were planted and benches installed about four years ago.

Reached for comment after the meeting Brown said, “We have been working together for several months with wonderful people at FRS to find the best way to address the issue.”

During their June 2013 meeting, Brown and Caywood outlined what they expected to see in the FRS application in terms of detail. Brown emphasized the commission wanted to see both an elevation of the project as well as closer imagery as opposed to a Google map view. They also requested to see examples of specific construction materials.

Brown said FRS is putting together the documents for a public hearing held in early fall. The delay is in part due to the irregular publication of the Mosquito during the summer months and the rules for advertising public hearings.

GIS project and historic district

In other business, the commission also looked at a 2011 Assessor’s map outlining the historic district within Carlisle to see if it was as accurate as the map on the wall of the Nickles Room within Town Hall. The town is currently moving the entire Assessor map set to Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

The commission found some discrepancies between the two maps and will get an electronic version of the Nickles Room map to Planning Board Chair David Freedman. The commission also said including lot sizes and zoning would be helpful on a GIS historic district map in addition to street addresses and parcel numbers.

Barrett & Company Real Estate/Sotheby’s International

It was reported at the May 21 meeting that Barrett & Company Real Estate will be getting a new sign. Laurie Cadigan discussed with the Historical Commission how Barrett & Co. has joined the Sotheby’s International franchise, and will therefore require a new sign. A cobalt blue sign will replace the current red one, with the Barrett & Co. name featured on the left side of the sign, and Sotheby’s International Realty name on the right. The lettering will be changed from the current gold lettering to silver. It will keep the “carved historic” sign look, and its dimensions will remain the same. Another smaller sign that is on the front door to the real estate office will also be changed to blue, will feature a similar historic style, and will be moved to the left of the door.

The Commission voted its approval of the application.

Commission membership

In May commission also voted on memberships for the next few years. Jack O’Connor, Ken Grady, and Annette Lee (alternate) have agreed to extend their memberships to 2014. Neal Emmer, Geoffrey Freeman, and Nathan Brown have extended their memberships until 2016. Brown will also continue as Chair.

The next Historical Commission meeting will be held on July 23. ∆