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SMITH COLLEGE BEGINS DEMOLITION OF TWO NORTHAMPTON HOUSES

Smith College began demolishing two buildings it owns on Belmont Avenue Thursday after a year’s delay.

The structures at 21 and 27 Belmont Ave. had triggered the city’s demolition delay ordinance because the Historical Commission determined that they had some historical or architectural significance. However, the ordinance cannot permanently prevent an owner from tearing a structure down.

Building Commissioner Louis Hasbrouck said the school is knocking down the smaller building at 27 Belmont first, then the 21 Belmont Street house. Hasbrouck said he believes the college will loam and seed the sites but he does not know Smith’s long term plans for the properties.

Smith College officials said both sites should be cleaned up by Aug. 31.

The Historical Commission's delay provided time for someone to come forward with a plan to relocate the buildings, but no plan was offered.

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