Historical Commission

Dudley Municipal Complex

71 West Main Street • Room 207

Dudley, MA 01571

 Edward Bazinet, Chairman

Michael Branniff, Secretary                  

                        Louise Wieloch

                         Frederick Meyer

                            Joseph Antos

                             Elaine Martin                            


Phone 508-949-8004

Fax. 508-949-7115



December 13, 2012

Ms. Brona Simon, SHPO & Executive Officer

Massachusetts Historical Commission

220 Morrissey Boulevard

Boston, Massachusetts 02125-3314


Re: Dudley Historical Commission Supports Stevens LLC’S Historical Rehabilitation Tax Credit Application.


Dear Ms. Simon:


The passage of time is relentless.


                                                          “Man springs from nowhere, crosses time and

                                                      disappears forever in the bosom of God; he is seen

                                                      but for a moment, wandering on the verge of the two

                                                      abysses, and there he is lost.”

                                                     Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America


The bridge that links the past to the future is the current generation.  The impulse to preserve the many constituent parts of a community’s heritage is a strangely, and in many cases, conveniently underappreciated duty of the present to its past and future generations.  For reasons of ignorance, apathy, indifference or selfishness many shrink from this duty and reject recognition of their obligations.  Stewardship of the past and present for the interests of those who will come after us is undervalued by many but no less important for all of that. Preservation serves to reanimate our connection with the past and fosters an understanding of a community’s sacrifices, endeavors, and development in such a way as to deepen and enrich the daily lives of citizens.


The history of the Town of Dudley through long association of its people and institutions is synonymous with that of the Stevens Linen Works. Through economic obsolescence, and deterioration due to the passage of time, the mill buildings have suffered.  The mill conversion plan of Stevens LLC has come to be a vital part in the projected economic recovery of Dudley.  The linchpin of this effort is the successful realization of maximum support from the Massachusetts Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit program.  In our town and surrounding cities and towns all over the State we are loosing irreplaceable structures of all kinds. They are parts of our story lost forever, never to return. The bleeding shows no sign of abatement.

The reinvention of the Stevens mill complex will save something precious, refresh and empower this place and expand and empower its horizons and possibilities.


The tax credit application of Mr. Peterson for a 164 unit mill conversion is the lever by which much depends.  Mr. Peterson told Dudley selectmen last summer his project needs to realize the maximum allowable contribution of tax credit awards to go forward.


In this respect the passage of time is not our friend.  The Dudley Historical Commission supports the preservation and rehabilitation of Stevens Linn Mill.  The Commission urges you to grant the maximum amount possible for this project, to enable Mr. Peterson to reach his number and proceed with the project. Otherwise, the mill will deteriorate further and Dudley will lose a precious monument as well as a unique economic opportunity.


Thank you for your attention.

Michael Branniff



Dudley Historical Commission






cc    Preservation Massachusetts

       45 Old City hall 4t Floor

       Boston, Massachusetts, o2108

       Attn: Erin D.  A. Kelly

       Assistant Director




      National Trust for Historic Preservation

      7 Faneuil Hall Marketplace 4th Floor

      Boston, Massachusetts, 02109

      Attn: Rebecca Williams