Monday, February 7, 2011

Quimby's Crackhouse

The Bollard reports on the sad state of 660 Congress Street thanks to Roxanne Quimby. Apparently she could not get the windows she wanted, so instead of a restored treasure of a building, we now have a boarded up nightmare.
"According to Quimby, the sticking point was the plate-glass showroom windows she wanted for the first-floor gallery. The existing bay windows were refurbished in the early 1900s; there’s nothing Queen Anne about them. But Quimby said the board deemed their preservation necessary because they originated during an “era of significance.”

“It was very disturbing to me,” Quimby said. “I didn’t want to spend all this time and money and not get a design that reflects what the building is supposed to be used for. I didn’t know where to go from there. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back. That’s why it’s still sitting there.”
Quimby said she’s been unable to find a buyer for the property who’s willing to tackle the high renovation costs and strict historic preservation standards. But she hasn’t completely abandoned it, either.

Last December, Quimby announced that she is hiring former Portland Museum of Art director Dan O’Leary to run the Quimby Colony and two of her charitable foundations. O’Leary has overseen major renovations of historic properties in the past. Quimby said his experience and recommendations will help her decide how to move forward with this dump in the coming months."