The Armory is back on the front burner with Washington College’s application for a permit from the Historic District Commission to have the Chestertown Armory demolished.
Plans to demolish the armory have been a point of contention between those who feel the 1930s structure can be remediated and preserved and the College who has evaluated it as cost prohibitive.
Two environmental surveys detected the presence of asbestos, lead paint and toxic mold. Interpretations of the surveys will be a focus of the upcoming meetings with the CHD.
The original 2022 demolition permit application was rescinded due to a procedural error.
The work description for the permit request reads:
“Washington College reluctantly seeks a demolition permit for the Chestertown Armory. This request is based on the environmental studies that show lead and asbestos contamination and more significantly, a high level of mold contamination. Remediation will be extraordinarily expensive and, per the attached report, has no assurance of success. The College has an investor group interested in a redevelopment project that would benefit the entire community, but no-one will invest in a project that may ultimately result in a structure that could be unusable. Despite the best efforts of multiple groups for at least 14 years, no alternative plans or investors that can save this structure have emerged. Washington College therefore requests a demolition permit on the grounds of economic hardship and for the greater public good, per the Town of Chestertown Historic District Guidelines. In Hearing 1, the college will stipulate to significance and provide details on the contamination. Full documentation of the building and other materials will be provided before Hearing 2.”
For more background, see the Spy’s November, 2022 article here.
To read the full application, go here.