August 9, 2022 By Michael Weymouth
For those town residents who are unfamiliar with the impending sale of the Old Ship Parish House to Matthew Smith, a Medfield real estate developer, the latest plan will change the face of Hingham’s lower Main Street forever. In this respect, I believe we all have a stake in Smith’s proposal.
The parish house is for sale for $2.1 million. Residents in the area had hoped a buyer would restore the house as is, as a single family house or as multiple condos. Whatever the final form, the integrity of the original building would be preserved.
Instead, Smith’s proposal is to squeeze a new structure to the right of the parish house in a space that is presently woodlands with a beautiful stand of copper beeches. While the wooded area is not a park per se, it nevertheless is a green space that borders the town center. It would be a travesty were that green space to be destroyed.
The proposal also includes another buildable lot to the left of and in front of the parish house. While the proposal does not indicate that the parish house would be torn down, it is highly unlikely that it would be preserved given its proximity to the two new lots.
I hope the Old Ship Church committee in charge of selling the parish house considers these factors as it weighs signing the developer’s proposal.