It’s almost a year since I updated readers on work at the historical estate on 84 Main Street.* So, it’s time to check back in.
Last September, work was about to begin restoring the interior and exterior of the estate known as the Burnett House to some and the Garfield House to others.
At the time, the Historical Commission warned the public that old damaged trees would be coming down. But they promised that the “principal stars” would be preserved and appropriate replacement plantings made. (Click here for a reminder on those details.)
Since then, workers have been grinding away on the massive project. And Friends of Burnett-Garfield House have been closely documenting the work on Facebook.
Most of the posts are courtesy of resident Allan Bezanson. Bezanson has not only been photographing the workers, he’s clearly been talking to them about what their work entails.
Work began at the stone shop. More recently, workers have been meticulously restoring the exterior of the main Stone House. Restoration is also underway inside the house.
The most noticeable work to passersby of late was the follow through on tree removal. Recently, Bezanson sent me a photo of the tree work being done with a brief update:
Old, unhealthy trees have been recycled in preparation for new landscaping. Interior work is underway in the mansion. Exterior repairs, stripping and painting of the trim is proceeding on the Carriage House.
Below are a just a few of the pictures posted by Friends of Burnett-Garfield House of work being done over the past year. The second row is from this month:
You can find many more photos (plus larger ones with more details posted) by visiting their Facebook page. For instance, a comment by Bezanson on the page explains the work being done by the “articulating machines” from the photo at the top of the story:
The green machine is manned by the stoneworkers for chimmney work on the mansion. The red, with its thousand horsepower, eats old trees and spews out chips for mulch or fuel for power generation. The yellow keeps a steady feed going to Big Red.
(If you want to learn more about the tree removal you can view the video and read the story posted by Southborough Wicked Local.)
Bezanson’s update also included the statement:
The Burnett House aka Garfield House is becoming “Deerfoot.”
[Editor’s Note: Since I initially posted this story, Bezanson dug up some confirmation for me that owner Jon Delli Priscolli did present plans to the Town showing he planned to name the estate Deerfoot.]**
I haven’t been able to get confirmation on the new name – though I seem to remember mention of something similar by owner John Delli Priscoli in a past presentation. (Much of the historic nature of the estate is tied to the original owner who had it built – Joseph Burnett, the founder of Deerfoot Farms. And Deerfoot Road does line one side of the property.)
If any readers are in the loop on the official name, feel free to post a comment.
*If you’re somehow unfamiliar with the estate, you are probably somewhat new to town. In July 2015, protests began over news that the owner was selling the house to a developer who planned to demolish the historic buildings and convert it to a four house lot. Based on public interest, the owner pulled out of the deal and worked with the Town on a plan to preserve the estate. In 2016, Town Meeting voters approved purchase of a Preservation Restriction on the estate. You can find more details in past posts on the subject here.
**Updated (9/14/17 12:12 pm): I received more confirmation that the owner has stated in that the future facility would be called Deerfoot in the future. See image right for more details from plans that were submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals in 2015. (Thank you to Allan Bezanson and the ZBA’s Karen Finelli.)