Push to save historic homes from demolition

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HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Five homes, all more than 125 years old, slated for demolition in Hamden. The houses are owned by Quinnipiac University and all sit on Whitney avenue.

Ken Minkema is the President of the Hamden Historical Society and is leading the fight to save them.

“What I see there is, I see families from long ago but I also see very distinctive ways in which they built their homes. You now, distinctive expressions of the times in which they were built,” said Minkema.

The properties were once all privately owned. After years of complaints about loud parties, rowdy crowds, and two students killed while crossing the street in the area, Quinnipiac bought the houses. The school has remained quiet about their plans for the properties. In August the demo signs went up.

“Maybe we could have seen it coming but you know, now that it’s upon us we need to do something and try to save as many as we possibly can,” said Minkema.

Quinnipiac University released the following statement:

“A university official recently met with the Hamden Historic Properties Commission and told members that if they submitted a proposal for the properties in writing, the university would consider it. While we have not received a proposal, we are reviewing all of our options and will continue our dialogue with the commission,” said John Morgan, associate vice president for public relations.”

The best solution in Minkema’s eyes is for Quinnipiac to preserve the homes and incorporate them in tho the campus.If not he hopes the town will step up to have them moved and restored someplace else.

“Perhaps there are funds from the state that will help us do that. Perhaps there are preservation minded individuals who would be willing to step up to the plate to help us with that,” said Minkema. “These are expressions that I thin need to be saved and passed along to future generations.”

Minkema says the Historical Society has started a petition to gain support of the efforts to save the houses.

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