By MICHAEL KITCH, LACONIA DAILY SUN
LACONIA — The Heritage Commission this week granted the permit to demolish the building at the junction of Union Avenue and Church Street, which since has stood as a landmark at what has become known as "Busy Corner," to enable CVS to construct a small park on the site.
However, the commission attached three conditions and a request to its approval. First, the commission stipulated that the lamppost at the corner must be "preserved in working order." The sign reading "Busy Corner" atop the building must be donated to the Laconia Historical & Museum Society. Finally, the curved step leading to the front door of the building must be retained as a plinth for a memorial to Busy Corner. The commission has asked that smoking be forbidden in the park and a sign erected to that effect.
Catherine Tokarz said yesterday that the demolition permit was filed submitted by the current owner of the property, which will be conveyed to CVS shortly. She said Planning Director Shanna Saunders is discussing the conditions with representatives of CVS property, but as yet there has been no official response from the company.
For many years, the building at Busy Corner housed a drug store with a popular lunch counter and J. Oliva Huot, a former mayor of Laconia and congressman representing New Hampshire sold real estate from an office at the rear of the building. More recently the building has been home to a law office, nail salon and barbershop.
The postage-stamp-sized lot of 0.058 of an acre is nearly a perfect isosceles triangle with two sides of 94.12 feet and 94.85 feet and a third of 55.81 feet. CVS plans to place a paved doughnut with a planted center in the space, which will be bounded on either side by perennial grasses and shrubs. Three granite benches will be placed around paved circle.
The park will be constructed and maintained by the company which adjoins the 1.59 acre lot where the CVS store was built in 2010.
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