Will the Hickman raze its historic buildings?

letter from Catherine Quillman, Daily Local News, 04/07/14

Thanks to a Daily Local News story published on March 3, local residents now know about a building proposal of the Hickman, the well-known senior living community surrounded by shade trees in the borough’s “Quaker Block.”

The project calls for the complete razing of two buildings built within a few years of the Hickman’s founding in 1890. It was established by two female Friends, one named Hall and the other, Sharpless, hence the structure became known as the Sharpless-Hall Building after they were connected together.

Today, the 1890s brick structure stands at the corner of North Walnut and Marshall streets partly encased in siding but otherwise is an elegant reminder, with its two-story porches, and underground tunnel, that a Quaker community once thrived here. In fact, officials seemed to have overlooked the Great Depression when they built an adjacent Colonial Revival building in 1935, now leased by the Hickman from the nearby Friends Meeting.

The Hickman plans to dismiss this history by razing its 1890s buildings to make way for a new facility that could be at least four stories high. As the Daily Local reporter put it, it will be “complete with an underground parking facility,” and its actual height will depend on “the setback they are required to leave.”

Perhaps residents can look to the massive Mary Taylor House to envision the quality and scale of the proposed Hickman building at North Walnut and Marshall….

read more at Daily Local News


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