SNHU sells historic Hooksett home after Heritage Commission decision

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The Fred C. Underhill House in February 2020. Credit/Andrew Sylvia

HOOKSETT, N.H. – Earlier this week, the Hooksett Heritage Commission announced that the historic Fred C. Underhill home will not be demolished.

Currently owned by Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), the building was in significant need of repairs to be safe and suitable for the university’s needs.

The home, located on Martin’s Ferry Road just north of SNHU’s main campus, was once the home of 1959 Hooksett Citizen of the Year Fred C. Underhill. Underhill donated the land near his Martin’s Ferry Road home for what is now Fred C. Underhill Elementary School.

Under Hooksett Development Regulation 17, any building over 500 square feet and over 50 years old requires a hearing for a demolition permit to determine whether that building might be “of historical or architectural significance.”

After further investigation, input from the public and two previous occupants of the home, the Heritage Commission determined that the home did meet the historical criteria needed to prevent demolition.

In coordination with the Heritage Commission, SNHU decided to sell the property, which will now be used for residential use.

“At SNHU, we always strive to be a good neighbor,” said Lauren Keane, AVP, Communications, SNHU.  “We listened to the Commission’s concerns before making a final decision on the structure, and we hope the new owners enjoy the property for many years to come.”

Kathie Northrup, Chair of the Heritage Commission expressed the thoughts of the group.  “We are so appreciative of the University’s willingness to consider alternatives to demolition of this distinctive old home.  I don’t think the history and significance of the home to the neighborhood was known by the University.  Once it was brought to their attention, they took the time to reconsider their original plans.  We are grateful that another family will be able to add their history to the home in its second century.”

About Andrew Sylvia 1662 Articles
Born and raised in the Granite State, Andrew Sylvia has written approximately 10,000 pieces over his career for outlets across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. On top of that, he's a licensed notary and license to sell property, casualty and life insurance, he's been a USSF trained youth soccer and futsal referee for the past six years and he can name over 60 national flags in under 60 seconds according to that flag game app he has on his phone, which makes sense because he also has a bachelor's degree in geography (like Michael Jordan). He can also type over 100 words a minute on a good day.