FRAMINGHAM – I am writing in support of the Community Preservation Act – or YES on Question 3.
I have been the Executive Director of the Framingham History Center for the past 15 years and when I speak about our efforts to preserve our historic buildings to people from out of town, I often hear “does Framingham have CPA?” I always respond with “not yet” as I have faith that our community will soon see the value of this initiative.
While I’m sure you expect me to write about how CPA funds will help us continue restoring some of Framingham’s most historic properties on the Centre Common – which I hope they will – I want to focus on another vision that I know is not new to many of you: the creation of a walking trail around Farm
Pond that is accessible to downtown. This trail has the potential to connect downtown businesses and neighbors including the hundreds of new apartment dwellers to an incredible network of open space, recreation and history.
Following this trail around the pond provides a remarkable glimpse into not only Framingham’s rich history but American history too. Starting with Harmony Grove and the abolitionists then moving on to Chautauqua with its Temple of Philosophy atop Mt. Wayte, to Cushing Hospital and Framingham’s aid for wounded veterans returning from WWII, to the beautiful gatehouse and aqueduct connecting Farm Pond to Boston’s early water supply and the reservoir system we see today, to the Bancroft Building with its industrial history, and finally to the railroad that brought all of this to downtown. CPA funding could help provide a solution for how to safely cross the railroad tracks and access this walking trail, Cushing Park, the skate park, ball fields and beyond. There has been mention of naming the trail for Chris Walsh, an early proponent of CPA and a true visionary.
History provides an anchor to communities during tumultuous times. Now is the time for Framingham history to shine, whether it is around Farm Pond, on the Centre Common, on Salem End Rd., or in the former Dennison buildings.
Please vote yes on Question 3 and help us continue preserving this rich history.
Framingham History Center