Four years after the Historic District Commission said the house at 32 Exchange St. could be demolished, it finally came down Wednesday, to make way for a 12-unit condominium project approved by the Planning Board in 2020.
The actual demolition started Tuesday; the structure was down by 9 a.m. Wednesday morning. This is the second building to be demolished on the street in recent months: 104 Duke St. was take down – also to be replaced by condos – Dec. 10.
The building had to be abated for asbestos before the demolition could go forward. In addition, lead levels in the soil will require remediation.
According to Department of Environmental Management’s Joseph T. Martella, the amount of lead in the soil exceeded DEM’s limit for residential properties but was below the industrial limit. He said it was not unexpected and could have come from paint and gasoline, when both items contained lead. The property had been owned by Charlie Fishell, who had worked on cars and operated a junkyard on the property in decades past. It had been in a state of benign neglect for many years.
For the demolition, DEM required that Grenier provide a temporary cap of filter fabric topped by crushed stone in the area where large vehicles would be operating.
Going forward, Grenier will need to provide a permanent barrier to prevent exposure to the soil – which means anything from a building, a walkway, a parking area or even landscaping.
“What keeps your site, your property compliant, is installing and maintaining the cap. You don’t want it to be disturbed in the future,” Martella said.
Aimee Huru, who lives next door to 32 Exchange St., complained about the dust raised during the demolition. Martella said DEM’s responsibility was limited to the soil remediation but he had recommended the demolition crew wet down the area to prevent some of the dust.
You can read more about 32 Exchange Street here: