City, diocese report ‘productive’ meeting on alternative to demolition of Chandler House

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Protestors during the June 28 protest to save the Chandler House from demolition. Photo/Keith Spiro

MANCHESTER, NH – After five years of inertia, a demolition permit and a public outpouring of support for a movement to “save” a historic home, the needle may be moving in the direction of salvation for the Chandler House.

On Tuesday the Diocese of Manchester released a statement jointly with Mayor Joyce Craig’s office that was brief but upbeat:

“Today, Bishop Peter Libasci, Mayor Joyce Craig, and other representatives of the City and the Diocese of Manchester had a productive and enlightening conversation regarding the Chandler House. We look forward to continuing to work together to try and find a mutually-agreed upon resolution that works for the Diocese, St. Hedwig Parish, and the greater Manchester community.”

On Sunday a protest outside the historic home brought out dozens of supporters carrying signs and calling for Bishop Libasci to reverse his decision to have the Chandler House demolished.

John Clayton, executive director of the Manchester Historic Association, said he spoke to the mayor ahead of Tuesday’s meeting but didn’t have details on what was discussed.

“Hopefully Mayor Craig’s negotiating skills can convince the Diocese the Currier Museum would be the perfect steward for the Chandler House,” said Clayton.

Meanwhile, a group organized on Facebook to spearhead last weekend’s protest is holding a second demonstration July 1 outside the Union Street rectory.

The Save the Chandler House group is meeting at Union and Lowell streets at 5:30 p.m. and will then move on to Bishop Libasci’s residence on River Road, according to Katie Ferrara, one of the group’s organizers.
Despite Tuesday’s announcement, Ferrara said the planned demonstration will go on. Postcards pre-addressed to the Bishop will be available and people interested in sending a message about saving the landmark can fill them out during the demonstration, she said.
The group issued the following statement of the news:
“We hope that today’s meeting will result in steps being taken to preserve The Chandler House. However, agreements have been struck in the past only to stall without resolution. We will continue our efforts until the demolition permit has been withdrawn and an agreement has been reached that will cement The Chandler House’s Preservation.”
About Carol Robidoux 6528 Articles
Longtime NH journalist and publisher of ManchesterInkLink.com. Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!