Final online meeting Friday by gasholder supporters

  • One of the several drawings of the possible renovations and expansion of the Gasholder building created by Kent Ruesswick of Green Building Solutions of Canterbury and Harry Seidel of Alae Residential Design. COURTESY

  • John Horangic of Bishop Brady High School joins the Save the Gasholder event on South Main Street in Concord on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Alex Ray, the owner and founder of The Common Man Restaurants, at the Save the Gasholder event on Tuesday, December 29, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER

  • Liz Durfree Hengen of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, Pat Meyer and Alex Ray in front of the gasholder building on South Main Street in Concord on Dec. 29. Geoff Forester / Monitor file

  • A shot of Concord's gasholder cupola. ELIZABETH FRANTZ

  • The iconic gasholder building on South Main Street in Concord in 2018. Monitor file

  • The gasholder building in Concord, as it appeared in 1982. Gary Samson

  • One of the entrance areas with signifigant roof damage to the structure of the Gasholder building on South Main Street. GEOFF FORESTER

  • The inside of the Gasholder building on South Main Street showing the roof and the scaffolding that rises from the base. GEOFF FORESTER

Monitor staff
Published: 1/7/2021 1:52:48 PM
Modified: 1/7/2021 1:52:36 PM

Spending at least $400,000 to keep Concord’s gasholder building from unrepairable damage while a long-term solution and funding is developed will likely be the recommendation to the City Council by the Ad-hoc Gasholder Committee, which holds its final meeting Friday afternoon via Zoom.

The committee will discuss a final report from ADG, the consulting firm hired to plan a future for the historic brick building. The group recommends that the building be preserved as a monument catalyst to developing the city’s South End, saying that turning it into a usable building would be too expensive. It argues that the gasholder could the visible anchor of a neighborhood stretching over more than 40 acres with residential and business construction and even an eco-themed park with a solar farm that would echo the gasholder’s history in the city’s energy supply.

Before that can happen, however, owner Liberty Utilities must be convinced not to tear it down. Utility officials have said they plan to apply for a demolition permit this month because structural damage related to a hole in the roof has made the building unsafe unless they can be assured that the building has a future, in which case the demolition funding could be used to stabilize it.

Several groups are hoping to save the building, most notably the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, which has twice put the gasholder on its list of seven structures that deserve to be saved.

In a statement Tuesday, Preservation Alliance Director Jennifer Goodman urged Concord residents to contact city councilors “to voice your opinion of what you hope for the future of the gasholder,” noting that the council “could begin discussions as soon as Monday, January 11 about if and how they will play a role.”

Friday’s meeting will begin at 2:30 p.m. online. For more information, check the Save Our Gasholder website, saveourgasholder.org.

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



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