Thursday, May 21, 2009

CEDC Holds Final Meeting

Before the week is up, I want to report on the final meeting of the Citizens’ Economic Development Commission, held Monday. First order of business was a visit from Peter McMahon who described the mission of the Cape Cod Modern House Trust, his new non-profit to save the modern houses in the National Seashore. Wellfleet, in the mid twentieth century, was a cultural crossroads with writers, artists and architects living and working here. Peter spoke briefly about the Kugel/Gips house on Northeast Pond, which will be the CCMHT’s first preservation effort. (Northeast Pond is behind Great Pond, above. Kugel/Gips is the only house on tiny Northeast Pond, so exclusive as well as an architectural jewel.) Seven houses have been pegged for restoration. Six are in Wellfleet. One is in Truro. Hatch Cottage will be next and $200,000 is needed as financing. The CCMHT is looking for volunteers as well as money. You can follow its progress here . I was especially interested to see Peter’s success with the National Seashore, since often, in the past, its relationship with Outer Cape towns has not been ideal, for instance, with regard to the Dune Shacks in Provincetown. Commission members asked lots of questions. Finally, Peter said that a Modernist House Tour is scheduled August 23rd in coordination with Castle Hill and mentioned that, in the future, such events could be organized through Preservation Hall instead. Chair Paul Pilcher suggested that holding such events in an off-peak month might be even more desirable, from our point of view, since there is already so much going on in August. We spent the rest of the afternoon finalizing recommendations for the Selectmen. Alex Hay commented on how pleasant it has been to serve on a committee that has a limited time-frame. Everyone agreed that the experience of working together has been a very positive one. Let’s hope some of our recommendations are adopted by the Selectmen!