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This statement was received for publication today from the Assumption Greek Church in Pawtucket regarding the controversy surrounding the future of the Read Ott Mansion. (see bottom of article for links to prior stories on this building).
“The Church recognizes that there has been some discussion of its plans for the structure on its property, commonly referred to as the Read Ott Mansion. While we understand and appreciate the concerns expressed, largely since they are issues with which we have long wrestled ourselves, we also note some significant misinformation being provided, and would like to clear the air regarding the facts regarding the fate of this building, providing information for all, in our desire to continue to be a positive member and steward of the greater Pawtucket community.
First, there has never been an intent to use the space as an additional parking lot. This option was ruled out immediately when the Church made its decision to remove the building in 2018. That message has been delivered directly to the Pawtucket Housing Court, the Pawtucket Historic District Commission, and the Office of the Mayor of Pawtucket, as well as to any individuals who took the time to ask. Still, as late as last week, those same rumors – citing unnamed sources were insisting in print that such was the Church’s plan.
Selling the house to a third party was proposed, and the Mayor’s Office in Pawtucket offered to help manage the re-drawing of lot/plat lines to facilitate that, but the option simply does not work for the Church. The building is located in the middle of our property, only 20 feet from the Church building, and could not serve as residential rental units, as proposed, without seriously disrupting our ability to function, and provide our parishioners with unrestricted spiritual services, religious and Greek language instruction and community events.
The same gentleman who proposed purchasing the house and re-developing into rental units, also proposed purchasing and moving the structure to another location. The church pledged full cooperation towards that plan, and professional sources all suggested that it was viable. But in the end, the developer was unwilling or unable to make that happen.
The term ‘demolition by neglect’ is a catchy phrase that has gained some popularity, but if it means that the Church willfully chose to allow the structure to deteriorate in order to achieve this end, then its use is simply disingenuous.
The cost of maintenance and repair has always been the issue that our parish could not manage. The age and size of the building required more attention than our budgets could support, and yes, it was an unfortunate reality that over the years our attention to its needs could not match the upkeep desired.”
Past coverage of the Read Ott Mansion by RINewsToday:
“Save Pawtucket’s Ott Mansion”, same message today, after 16 years of grace – David Brussat
Pawtucket neighbors to Greek church: Save the Read-Ott House, or let us do it – David Sisson
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