Letter to the editor – Coalition against proposed KIPP location

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The Highlands Coalition and the Friends of High Rock Tower submit the following in opposition to the sale of land currently owned by the VFW Post 507 (90 High Rock Street) to the KIPP Academy for their purposes of constructing a middle-high school on historically important land. We feel the site is inadequate and ill-advised for the KIPP expansion.

The site at 90 High Rock Street (the Post 507) is a contiguous parcel connected to the historic High Rock Tower Park. This tract of land was previously identified as an Historically Important Landscape by the State Historic Resource (Reference: Mass DCR Open space & Historic Resources Map for Lynn and the Lynn Historic Reconnaissance report).

That the community of Lynn might lose this significant property and future opportunities to reconnect the two parcels and preserve them for the benefit of future generations would be a tragic loss to the entire city. The unparalleled vistas provided from this natural high point, located in one of Lynn’s most maligned neighborhoods, could be the centerpiece to revitalize this much neglected area.

For those of us who live and travel these winding and steep hills, we foresee dangerous conditions for twice daily bussing of the 700-800 students planned to attend, especially in the winter months. As well, the steep cliffs surrounding the property are an inherent risk without the installation of unsightly fencing which will stare down on the city’s center creating a fortress effect for those looking up.

The Highlands neighborhood, one of this city’s oldest, has already lost too much of our shared architectural history. The stunning mansions of the shoe barons, the two and three traditional family style housing, which enabled families to produce a secondary income stream, have been lost to investors and speculators of all kinds.

The historic and cultural importance of this place where for centuries Native Americans dwelled, Spiritualists rallied the age of Enlightenment, abolitionists decried the practice of slavery, and factory workers cried out for the protections of labor unions, should not be lost to the highest bidder.

David Gass, Co-Chair Highlands Coalition
Leslie Greenberg, Co-Chair Highlands Coalition
Lisa Connolly, Chair Friends of High Rock Tower
Harrison Harley, Highlands Coalition
Stanley Wotring, Highlands Coalition
William Vagenas, Neighbor
Katerina Panagiotakis, Lynn Historic Commission
Calvin Anderson, Lynn Historic Commission

Information on how to send your letters can be found here. E-mail is preferred.

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