OPINION: Vote NO on Town Meeting Article 25: potential sale of Tree and Park Barn property, 8 Short St.

8 Short St Hingham

April 12, 2024 By Dick Orr

As the current and hopefully future tenant of the Tree and Park Barn at 8 Short St. in Hingham Centre, I ask that voters at the April 24 Town Meeting vote against the proposed sale of the property. My current lease runs for another year and a half, and I wish to remain here for at least that amount of time.

I have rented the town-owned  Barn for nearly 11 years and have operated a furniture making/repair business that has been well-supported by the community as evidenced by its success. My modest operation pays rent and property  taxes to the town, insures the building, and covers occupancy expenses in addition to all routine maintenance. I have also:

  • Worked with the Community Preservation Committee — at considerable  personal expense and time —  to secure partial Community Preservation Act funding to properly restore the 20 windows as well as  the current painting of the building;
  • Restored the two large front doors to their original operating condition;
  • Opened the Barn as part of the Hingham Historical Society’s House Tour;
  • Hosted a day with an engine and ladder truck from the Bare Cove Fire Museum (the truck was originally stationed at 8 Short St. when the building served as Central Fire Station many years ago)  for general community education:
  • Discussed with the Senior Center hosting woodworking classes; and
  • Refinished on a complimentary basis tables for Old Derby and clock tower wheels for Town Hall.

My business complements the historic aspects of the building and its modest traffic/parking needs appropriate for a very busy street.

In addition, as a 40-year resident of Hingham, I feel it is important that the town retain this historic treasure. If sold, it would be gone forever and could morph into a nondescript property. I ask voters to please support the continued preservation of one of the town’s most visible and historic assets and vote NO on Article 25 on April 24.

Hingham should not sell — but remain the steward of — the historic Tree and Park Barn at 8 Short St.

1 thought on “OPINION: Vote NO on Town Meeting Article 25: potential sale of Tree and Park Barn property, 8 Short St.”

  1. This former Center Fire Station/ Tree and Park Department Building is the one of the last remaining historical municipal structures in the Town of Hingham. In the old Hingham Center area once stood, but now demolished, the former Agricultural Hall Building, the Hingham Public Library Building and the old Center School. Also remaining is the Grand Army of the Republic Hall standing at the intersection of Pond and Main Streets and the Head House located at the end of Playground Road.
    Additionally, I remember the Old West School once situated on Thaxter Street and numerous dairy farms scattered throughout a scenic town landscape.
    As a former town employee and D.P.W. Director for the Town, I can attest to the fact that this building was maintained and kept in impeccable condition by ALL of our current and former town employees who were proud to occupy this space.
    The residents of Hingham are on the right track preserving the Tree Barn as an adaptive re-use along with a tenant who has become a fabric of the Town Center. Please preserve this building for future generations keeping it under the control of Hingham’s Citizenry.
    Respectfully Submitted, Brian Sullivan


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.