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Once close to being demolished, the Abbott House in Concord is getting spruced up

  • A warning sign about lead at the Abbott House on North State Street. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • The Abbot House on Fisherville Road is geting a paint job and roof repairs ahead of the winter. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The Abbott House on North State Street is getting a paint job and roof repairs. Abbott Village condos can be seen in the background.

  • The inside of the Abbott House still needs a lot of work, but the outside is being helped with painting and roof work. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Tyler Durgin scrapes paint off the back structure of the Abbott House on North State Street on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/14/2019 5:03:39 PM

The historic Abbott House, which last spring was in danger of “demolition by neglect,” has been almost completely refurbished on the outside as a long-delayed condominium development moves ahead.

“We already put a new rubber roof and new shingles on the bump. We’re scraping and painting the exterior ... We’re redoing the glass on the windows, replacing panes and old sashes,” said Mark White, superintendent of development for Abbott Farms LLC, the private firm building the condo development.

As is the case with most old buildings, partly those that have been neglected like the Abbott House, the work has often uncovered more work. “We’ve replaced a lot of siding – a lot of siding,” White said. “We did a lot of clean-up earlier in the summer. We put a lot of work on it. It was really run down.”

If the weather cooperates – it has been too cold to paint outdoors for days – White said the exterior work should be finished in two weeks. What will happen inside of the home, which was built in 1760, remains under discussion between the developer and the city.

Behind the Abbott House, located at 382 N. State St., near Swenson Granite, work is continuing on what will eventually be a development of 80 condominium units in 10 buildings called Abbott Village. That includes four buildings built on an old design, three in a new design and six to go, White said.

“We changed the design of the building a year ago. Since then, we have sold 14 units, with about 40 to go,” he said.

The two-bedroom, roughly 1,700-square-foot units with a garage are selling for a little under a quarter-million dollars.

The Abbott House was built around 1760 by Amos Abbott, part of one of the city’s oldest families. Their name is spelled with two T’s and is not related to the Abbot family, spelled with one T, that helped create the stagecoach firm Abbot-Downing Co.

The building has had a long and checkered history of ownership, with additions built and then torn down. In recent decades, it was neglected to the point that the current owners told the city in March that it was virtually unsalvageable, with a fallen-in roof and the second floor collapsing into the floor below.

He sought permission to tear it down but the planning board balked at that idea and now the house is being refurbished. Its final use has yet to be determined.

Restoring the Abbott House has always been tied to the development of the property. Original condo developer Yves Tanguay had to promise he’d fix up the homestead before getting the go-ahead from the planning board in 2005. He ended up in bankruptcy, and those conditions carried over when five investors bought the property in 2011.

(David Brooks can be reached at 369-3313 or or on Twitter @GraniteGeek.)

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