The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation has a roughly 1,300-square-foot cottage and a 3,200-square-foot general purpose building available in a bucolic setting, the Upton State Forest. The price is a steal – a free long-term lease. Now DCR officials are checking if the time is right for someone to preserve the property.
There’s just one hitch: Whoever is accepted to take on the property, which DCR will still own, has to commit materials and sweat equity to restore and maintain it.
The buildings are part of the DCR Historic Curatorship Program, which since 1994 has sought to preserve “significant but failing” unused DCR properties, according to Kevin M. Allen, program manager. Currently, 61 state properties are eligible for historic curatorship, and 21 are under agreement.
DCR recently released a request for expressions of interest, sort of a pre-request-for-proposal process, for four properties, including the superintendent’s house at Wachusett Mountain State Reservation in Princeton.
The cottage and administration building are the last two original structures on the 1930s-era former Civilian Conservation Corps Camp SP-25. Two other buildings came down in snowstorms in the 2000s.
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