A matter of history

Gay said the idea of locating the historic district there is that the original Parade Ground includes Dunning Street today, and that a designated area would be more practical for town residents to use.

"In an effort to really celebrate what is truly historic about that area and allow for public celebrations there, there were discussions about setting off a separate area which would include a piece of the original Parade Ground but that would also be large enough to incorporate other historical accoutrements, such as statuary, and historic buildings," said Gay.

Meanwhile, as plans for Malta's downtown continue to take shape, the Connollys have attended several public workshops on shaping Malta's downtown business district, looking for answers on how their salon will be designated.

"The incoming businesses are given so much flexibility, and there's no equality here; we're being completely left out," said William Connolly.

Steve Rutkey, who chairs the town's historic review commission, said there needs to be an open discussion with the building owners, town planners and the historian's office.

"We'll go over all these issues," said Rutkey. "The thing is, these buildings do have very unique value. They are three buildings grouped together with similar architecture."

Cristine Connolly said it's easy for people to admire the buildings when they don't understand the land, not the structures, have been declared historic.

"People tell us our building is quaint, and that's their opinion but it's not what the state has said," said Connolly. "Progressive towns realize for the vitality of a downtown, they honor buildings like this one with a plaque."

Teri Gay said the town's historic review commission will meet Monday, Jan. 28, to discuss the buildings located on the Parade Ground.

"The committee will agree on their official position, and then put it in writing to the town board," said Gay. "Following that, there will be a workshop to determine how to proceed."

For now, although the plans for a designated historic district may take years to iron out, the Connollys are hoping answers about what they can do to shore up their building will come soon.

"We need a timeline, because after six years this is still up in the air, but we'll wait and see," said Cristine Connolly.""

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