Historic college home coming to Baker Street in Amherst

  • The Martha S. Hubbard House has stood on South Pleasant Street for 150 years. GOOGLE STREET VIEW

Staff Writer
Published: 2/23/2021 12:01:59 PM

Editor’s note: This story, which ran originally in the Feb. 24. Gazette, is being republished to correct the planned use for the Amherst College President Mother’s House.

AMHERST — A 19th-century home on South Pleasant Street that’s owned by Amherst College can be moved about a mile away from the site where it has been situated for nearly 150 years.

The two-story building at 205 South Pleasant St. will be brought to a vacant lot at 21 Baker St. after the Historical Commission gave unanimous approval last month to lift a yearlong demolition delay put in place last May.

Mark Andrews, capital projects manager at the college, said the move is being coordinated by Amherst developer Barry Roberts, the principal for UDrive South LLC.

UDrive South owns the Baker Street site and the neighboring property on which a mixed-use building with apartments and a medical office on the ground floor is being developed.

“His intention is to take the building and move it intact,” Andrews said.

Though the site is less than a mile away, Roberts will not be able to use the shortest route to get to the property, along Snell Street, due to the underpass for the Norwottuck Rail Trail. Instead, a moving company will bring the 1,575-square-foot building north on South Pleasant Street and then west on Northampton Road.

Roberts said Tuesday that he is working with the state’s Department of Transportation to schedule the day and time the home will be moved down the Route 9 hill and past Amherst College’s athletic fields.

Known as the Martha S. Hubbard House, the building is a single-family Greek Revival-style home built in 1862. Roberts said it will remain a single-family home once it gets to the Baker Street site.

Town Planner Ben Breger said the Conservation Commission also has reviewed the project for impacts on wetlands.

The building is being sold by the college to accommodate development on a neighboring property, known as the Amherst College President Mother’s House. That building will be improved to become the home for the Center for Humanistic Inquiry and the history department.

The Historical Commission previously approved the demolition of a 90-year-old barn and a 1960s-era garage on other college-owned properties on South Pleasant Street.

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