Monday, July 20, 2015

Sad Tale Of Two Homes

The Dakin House, 355 South Pleasant Street (click to enlarge)

If Amherst College wants to see some return on investment for their $4.3 million purchase twelve years ago of the now derelict Dakin estate they should turn it into a pop up haunted house for this coming Halloween.

 Dakin estate on South Pleasant Street still looks good from the air

Of course the main reason for the expensive purchase was to keep the property -- located contiguous to the college owned Amherst Golf Course -- from being turned into a housing development.

Since that does not qualify as an "educational use" the town assessor put the property back on the taxrolls in 2006 but was nice enough to keep the valuation the same as before the college spent so much as a "motivated buyer".

 The only use the structure now sees is practice for Amherst Fire Department
Would also make a great location for a Hollywood slasher movie

The 1830 estate was owned by Arthur Hazard Dakin, Jr. brother of Winthrop Saltonstall Dakin ("Toby") who were both, like their Dad, prominent  attorneys.  Arthur Hazard Dakin Sr. had graduated from Amherst College in 1884.

After Arthur Dakin Jr. died in 2001 the bank who administered his trust approached Amherst College to buy his 37 acre estate.  They could not come to terms (although I hear the asking price was around $1 million) and the property went out to auction, where the College ended up paying four times more for the property.

 Overgrown outdoor patio
Lawns, meadows and beautiful mature trees stand in stark contrast to the buildings on the spacious grounds

And has done nothing with it since, other than mowing the extensive lawns.

Meanwhile ...

 Dakin House, 650 East Pleasant Street

The other Dakin estate, donated to UMass after the death of Janet Dakin, who outlived her husband Winthrop by a dozen years, is currently in use by the UMass "Renaissance Center" for academic research.

Main house and Carriage House are still in use

The Dakin House, carriage house and garage were all built in 1949, but according to a 2009 building survey for the Massachusetts Historical Commission it was "recommended not eligible for the National Register of Historic Places."

 Dakin Carriage House

But at least UMass keeps them habitable.  Well, mostly.

 Dakin garage going to waste


Anonymous said...

Just goes to show that places of higher education have more money than BRAINS!

Timothy Atteridge said...

Also goes to show that UMASS has no problem keeping up the Janet Dakin estate. They are spending other people's money (your's and mine).

Anonymous said...

Man, you are a drone nut.

Larry Kelley said...

A picture is worth a 1,000 words. A drone photo, five times more.

Anonymous said...

A drone photo INSIDE town meeting - priceless.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, like the 5 amateur drones that captured the LA freeway fire this weekend. The rescue operation was delayed because of them clogging the airspace.

Anonymous said...

Where's Ed? He's the real drone around here.

Anonymous said...

Are police officers, firefighters, and news reporters, like common civilians, subject to the laws which define when someone is an accessory after the fact to a crime?

Larry Kelley said...

Maybe. Ask your attorney.

Anonymous said...

Have you asked yours?

Anonymous said...

Attorney? Talk to your state reps, your senator, your congressman... but not your attorney.

Anonymous said...

4:32: It depends, and there could be tax consequences. That will be $385 please.

Anonymous said...

Something we all strive for!

Anonymous said...

Another thing we strive for. OPM.