Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 05-09-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | MAY 9-15, 2019 LINCOLN 9 LINCOLN – While there's no denying the Valentine Whitman House in Lincoln has stood the test of time since it was built in the 1690s, hundreds of years of wear and tear on the historic home have beat- en the old home, but not broken it. Its gable roof is beginning to sag, requiring replacement, and the base- ment is water-logged. The property's only tenants since 1991 have been rodents and other pests that have set- tled inside its walls and sought shel- ter in the winter. Despite its needed repairs, it remains structurally sound. Pat Choiniere, who has served as the home's caretaker for nearly three decades, said, "This house is solid. Very solid." Members of Lincoln's Town Council were invited to roam the spacious home on Monday as they continue to deliberate the future of the town-owned property at 1147 Great Road. They have been working with the nonprofit Preserve Rhode Island to brainstorm ideas for future use that would save the property from falling into further disrepair, however many neighbors have spoken out against the proposals, urging the town to retain ownership of the home and spend the money needed to save it and maintain it as a historic house museum, as it has been for years. Addressing the council, other town officials and neighbors on Monday, Preserve RI Executive Director Valerie Talmage said the future of historic house museums nationwide is in jeopardy. "If you're successful and raise $400 or $1,500 or $2,000 a year, but you're responsible for a building of this size, any homeowner knows that the numbers just don't match to do that," she said. "It's one of the rea- sons why really smart house muse- ums are planning for the future." The Breeze previously reported that the nonprofit had proposed retaining ownership from the town and paying more than $300,000 to repair damage and to bring the home to a modern standard of living, while still maintaining its historical integrity. This would allow it to be sold as a single-family home under a historic preservation easement that would limit additional changes from being made or mandate the home be open to the public on certain occa- sions. "That's one of the most amazing things about Valentine Whitman. You have these two centuries that are very evident in the building, and then it hasn't been very heavily reno- Officials tour Whitman House to assess condition By NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writer See CONDITION, Page 12 184 Front St., Lincoln, RI Lincoln Shopping Center (401) 723-7078 Visit us at Christian Jewelers Christian Ghazal GIA Graduate Gemologist D E S I G N ~ I N N O VAT E ~ C R E AT E Cultivating Since 1992

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