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Letter to the Free Press

February 3rd, 2008 · No Comments

Dear Editor,

Hear, hear, to the town of Williston for making a stand against short term benefits at the cost of our community heritage. Aside from the obvious wasteful issue of replacing a replacement material, vinyl with vinyl again, the restoration of the existing wood clapboard underneath will serve both the parish and the community well into the future. Even given the necessary costs of removing and disposing of the old vinyl siding a quality paint job with minor cyclical maintenance will carry this beautiful Italianate farmhouse well into this century. This is much more responsible than another round of vinyl siding which we have already seen the failure of or experimenting with cement board siding that may or may not last? And we still don’t know the long term health risks of working with this “new” material, does anyone remember asbestos siding?

I think the Free Press would do well to give equal time to both sides of the “historic preservation” issue. The article illustrated well the concerns of the Parish Council but I did not see an adequate defense of the decision by the Williston Historic and Architectural Advisory Committee. Also, being in the trades for 20 years, I cannot believe without reputable estimates that the repair and painting of the original siding could possibly cost $30,000 dollars more than vinyl or cement board siding.

I know that communities all over Vermont are struggling with these same issues. It would only help to highlight the pros and cons of both sides and we know that the manufacturing industry doesn’t need much help in selling those new “no maintenance” miracle products to all of us.

Thank you for your time and interest in covering these important issues.


Ron Wanamaker
President; Wanamaker Restoration
Member; Design Advisory Board, Burlington
Member and Vice President Elect; Preservation Burlington

Tags: Value-Added Historic Preservation · Wanamaker Restoration

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