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People and their history are the heart of Mystic

I want to comment on and make a clarification to your editorial, “Mystic park, 5 years on” (April 2). The welcome addition to public access to and clean-up of the Mystic River waterfront afforded by this project is certainly something to celebrate, even if it does take longer than some expected.

As you note, part of the delay was the overlooked historic property on the site: “A house on the property was simply going to be razed, but then the State Historic Preservation Office judged it to be historic and ordered its preservation.”

In fact, the house in question was already part of the Rossie Mill National Register District, established in 2007. The application for this educational designation was compiled by interested neighbors and submitted to the State Historic Preservation Office for approval and then forwarded by them with recommendation to the National Register of Historic Places that officially established the district. It speaks to the industrial and cultural history of the mill and its many immigrant workers. The district does not limit what property owners can do, but triggers review when state or federal money is sought for planned demolitions.

The people and their history are the heart of a community. I would hope that here in Mystic, folks would be more aware of theirs. It is what makes Mystic the attraction it is. The slow erosion of historic homes lost to parking lots (see David Collins' commentary), "Mystic history demolished to make way for a parking lot," (March 30) and, even if attractive, boat houses in public parks is a danger to that sense of place felt by residents and visitors alike.

See application at:

Ted Hendrickson lives in Mystic.




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