N.B. Borden School Demolition

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Updated July 8, 2020 – A Massachusetts Public Records Request failed to produce the purchase and sale agreement between the city of Fall River and current property owner T.A. Restaurant for the Nathaniel B. Borden School.

The purchase and sale agreement is the document that would have included conditions of sale potentially protecting the property from demolition, as seen in other purchase and sale agreements for similar city sales at that time.

The Preservation Society released a fact sheet on the Nathaniel B. Borden School with details since its sale in 2012 to help identify a number of contradictions, oversights, and errors with the process. The Preservation Society has presented this information to the city officials in hopes that the demolition permit be withheld until the property’s conditions of sale can be verified.


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The Nathaniel B. Borden School is the former elementary school of the infamous Lizzie Borden and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as well as the Fall River Register of Significant Structures. It’s named after Fall River’s third mayor.

At the May 21 Historical Commission meeting, Chair Kristen Cantara Oliveira announced that the owner of the Nathaniel B. Borden School at 45 Morgan Street had filed for a permit to demolish the building.

The six-month demolition delay will expire on October 18, 2019.

The Preservation Society submitted a position statement opposing the demolition and supporting preservation restriction and/or reverter clauses on the deeds of city-owned historic properties during future sales.

The Preservation Society also presented a change.org petition with over 850 signatures and comments to the Historical Commission at its June 18 meeting supporting the owners’ original plan or any plan to preserve the property. The N.B. Borden School property owners didn’t appear at the meeting, despite previously agreeing to, and said all questions regarding the demolition could be answered in their initial letter to the Historical Commission.

The Preservation Society received a letter from City Councilor Pelletier that he said he spoke with property owner Kevin Santos on July 23, who said he had no interest in attending a meeting to discuss the N.B. Borden School further. Councilor Pelletier said, “I truly believe that Mr. Santos has exhausted all possibilities for this property and is looking to demolish the property after the expiration of the October 18, 2019 six month demolition delay.”

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