|One of the halls likely to be demolished|
(I think this is Chamberlain)
Withycombe, Smith Cottage, Chamberlain, Kozer, and "House" (x2) are listed on the permit applications.
Originally called the State Institution for the Feeble-Minded, and established in 1907, the Training Center was closed in 2000 and sold to Sustainable Fairview in 2004.
The plan for Fairview was to reuse some of the buildings, but not all of them.
|Reuse Plan from Fairview Master Plan|
(Click to enlarge, inset detail added)
So, is this a preservation moment?
I'm inclined to think not. I believe that Sustainable Fairview will still preserve some of the buildings, just maybe not the ones they originally thought. That is, I think of them as having good faith intentions and the will to follow-through.
I interpret this as I do the Blind School and the State Hospital. Not all buildings are worth preserving or can be preserved. What is especially important is that a subset of the buildings are preserved, hopefully the most historically important and the most architecturally distinguished.
Le Breton Hall, the first building on the campus, dating from 1908, seems to me to be the one to worry about most.
Maybe you will have a different opinion on all this, and it would be good to discuss them. In the range of opinions, this is a tentative one. Because of course, once they're gone, they're gone.
The loss of the other buildings at the Blind School is one reason why Howard Hall is so important: The Hospital demolished all the rest, and Howard Hall is the only remaining building.
Similarly, the Dome Building at the State Hospital is more important than the other buildings on the North Campus, and it's important to save the outstanding example or instance of a group of buildings.
Hopefully the demolition permits at Fairview aren't just because the buildings are attracting vandalism, but are signs that redevelopment at this site, dormant for too long, is heating up.
(With more details or thoughts this post may be updated in the next few days.)