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LETTER: Abingdon’s intent to sell Hassinger House regrettable, must require preservation

LETTER: Abingdon’s intent to sell Hassinger House regrettable, must require preservation

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The town of Abingdon has determined to sell their former visitors center site, the impressive century-plus-old Hassinger House, a property abutting our Veterans Memorial Park. It seems to me regrettable that the town wishes to sell this mansion. Since the Fields-Penn House will no longer be a museum, the Hassinger House (currently in a public institutional land-use category, according to the posted Comprehensive Plan) would be an excellent venue for a high-quality Abingdon historical museum and an extension of the Veterans Park outdoor museum. Some galleries could focus on veterans, including the Overmountain Men, plus slave history and slavery’s offspring, the Civil War. If the town lets this asset go for short-term financial considerations, it will probably never be recoverable. In the event that the structure is nevertheless sold, I urge that it be done so with deed covenants that require the building’s preservation and its adherence to the town’s historic-district standards and that the house be included within a new Bradley Street Historic District.

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