Valentine Estate Property
The Valentine Property was purchased in 2018 as both a way to stave off the development of 120 units of housing on a 7-acre property, and at the same time preserve this historical asset for future use.
In 2019, the Select Board created a Valentine Property Committee to evaluate the reuse of historic properties in other communities and issue a Request for Proposals asking residents, business owners, and other interested parties for plans to renovate the property and create an amenity that can be used by town residents as well as create a destination to attract visitors to Ashland.
In 2020, a Request for Proposals was issued which resulted in one proposal being submitted. That proposal was ultimately rejected. After this the Select Board made the decision to concentrate on the required Conservation and Historic preservation restrictions, forming a subcommittee in 2021 to develop recommendations to be acted upon by the Ashland Select Board.
Since the purchase of the property in 2018, a number of steps have been taken to ensure the stability of the house and the historic barn structure. The latest was the installation of cabling to secure the barn structure through the winter months. Approximately $1.5 million has been allocated to restore the historic barn while a long-term use is still being determined.
- Town Meeting Warrant Approval May 15, 2018
- Appraisal Document
- Barn Assessment - Colonial Restoration
- Barn Assessment - JSE Structural Engineering
- Select Board Subcommittee Draft Conservation Restrictions
- Request for Proposal (RFP)
- Proposal Submittal - Valentine Orchards
- Nobis Soil Report
- Historic Property Card 125 West Union Street
- Historic Property Card 139 West Union Street
- Kate Valentine Agricultural Center Concept
Community Forum June 29, 2022
Valentine Property Community Forum Recap
The presentation began with a quick history of the property including how the property became an entity of the town. Since the Town purchased the Valentine Estate, the site has been cleared, the house and barn cleaned out, both chimneys were repaired, the barn was cabled to protect the structure, the property had soil testing, and bids for work were published.
The presentation continued with Scott Lubell of the Valentine Committee discussing their role and involvement with the property. They informed community members of other historical properties to use as inspiration for the Valentine Estate, including Natick's Organic Community Farm, Medway's Thayer Homestead, Holliston's Asa Whiting Historical House and Barn, and Weston's Josiah Smith Tavern. The committee also discussed the Request For Proposal initially created and published for this property.
Select Board Chair, Brandi Kinsman, then discussed the restrictions to the property, including the Historical, Conservation and Article 97 restriction, which impacts the future of the property.
The end of the presentation discussed the potential for the property and proposed the question, "What's next?" Current monetary resources such as American Rescue Plan Act Funds and Community Preservation Act funds were discussed as well as the constraints those funds are under. The conversation continued to discuss the much-needed roof repairs and the condition of the property as a whole.
Kate Valentine's (a relative of the family) conceptual plan was highlighted as a suitable fit for the property and adhered to the conditions of the property legally and physically.
The forum concluded with questions and comments from community members attending. Most in the room favored moving forward with fixing the roof and foundation despite the cost. Michael Herbert, Town Manager, proposed moving forward with developing a master plan of the property based on Kate Valentine's concept plan. Some community members attending favored going in that direction while others did not.
In conclusion, the "takeaways" from this presentation are to 1- receive the bids for the roof, and foundation repairs, 2- review and comment on Kate Valentine's conceptual plan that is now published on our webpage 3- discuss the next steps in another forum.
We welcome feedback on the conceptual plan and the Valentine Estate. Please email our Communications Coordinator, Ashley, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour of the property February 27, 2022
Featuring Town Manager, Michael Herbert, Select Board Member, Yolanda Greaves, and WACA TV.