Letter To Editor: Elsinaes Should Be Saved


To The Editor,

People in power always find the same old excuses to ignore historic preservation and destroy iconic landmarks.  You can look at Revolutionary War hero John Hancock's grand mansion on Beacon Street as an example, where for years there were many opportunities to save it, but ultimately it was demolished for the same reasons that Manchester-by-the-Sea's historic Elsinaes property is now in jeopardy: money, inconvenience, and lack of forethought.  The Hooper mansion, where Elsinaes is located, in Manchester-by-the-Sea was donated to Landmark School in 1973, and it is the failure of their stewardship that after 48 years this once beautiful and elegant historic garden house has fallen into such ruin. But there is still time to save it if everyone included—Landmark, the town, businesses, nonprofits, citizens – gets on board to come up with a plan, raise the funds necessary, and work together.  No doubt it will take effort, patience, and money of course, but there IS a path to success, but the question is do all parties have the will? I also see this as a great opportunity for Landmark, who already have automotive and boat-building programs in place, to use the renovation of Elsinaes as a way to educate their students about historic preservation using a hands-on approach.  A landmark is defined as "a building or other place that is of outstanding historical, aesthetic, or cultural importance, often declared as such and given a special status ordaining its preservation, by some authorizing organization."  My hope is that Landmark School will live up to the ideals of its namesake and save Elsinaes.

Britton Boughner

Lowell, MA

margaret e. winslow, landmark school, britton boughner, hooper mansion, john hancock, elsinaes