Groton City is again seeking proposals for Mother Bailey House


Mother Bailey House in Groton celebrates one of the leading ladies of the Revolutionary War era who also played a role in the War of 1812. During the latter conflict, Anna Warner Bailey provided a flannel petticoat for officers guarding near Fort Griswold who needed materials for their cannons facing the Thames to fend off the British.

Groton – The city is again seeking offers from potential buyers of Mother Bailey House property, after previous attempts to sell the property failed.

Mayor Keith Headrick said the city is trying to recover property on tax rolls.

The city council declared the city’s 0.15-acre historic home at 108 Thames Street “excess property” in 2019.

Residents previously refused to spend extra money on renovating the house, and fundraising efforts by a local group to preserve the house were unsuccessful.

The RFP issued on July 28 stated that “the ideal result would be to see the house at 108 Thames Street have been refurbished, restored to reflect the historic architectural style” with appropriate details, windows and materials.

The only requirement, Hedrick said, was that the 18th-century structure, also known as the Mother Anna Warner House, could not be demolished. The property is located in the Waterfront Business Residence, an area that allows for a mix of residential and commercial uses.

The house is a contributing property to Groton Bank National Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.

A 2012 capital needs assessment prepared for the city said he believed the house was built in 1782 under the direction of Dr. Amos Prentice. The two floors, Colonial Central Hall “has seen various uses over its 230-year life, including use as a private residence, inn and tavern, hosting an early post office, and again as a single family residence,” according to an assessment.

The city made repairs to stabilize the house after purchasing it in 2010. But in 2016, when the city proposed reusing some of the unspent city bond money for home repairs and other new projects, city residents voted against the proposal for a free house. Meeting.

A local group, Friends of the Mother Bailey House Foundation, asked for donations to maintain the house and set up displays and a visitor center at the home, but it did not raise enough funds for the project. The group of friends said in a pamphlet that Anna Warner Bailey, or “Mother Bailey,” was “the heroine of the Revolution and the Battle of 1812.”

Then the city council decided in 2019 to declare the property as “surplus” and solicit proposals for it. City officials said responses to the initial request did not meet the city’s requirements, so the city went through the process again.

Hedrick said that three of the responders to the original request ultimately decided to back out of purchasing the property, so the city’s real estate commission decided to go back to the drawing board.

A public hearing was held last year on a proposal to sell Mother Bailey House and adjacent property at 0 Broad Street for $1 to a local developer, FTTB LLC. The proposal was to beautify the house to historic standards and for residential use, and possibly build townhouse style buildings on the adjacent property at 0 Broad Street. The city required a guarantee of good performance.

stated Frank Jennett, President of FTTB LLC. , on Friday that the company has a performance guarantee in effect. The bond allocates funds for home renovation or renovation in the event the contractor is unable to complete the project or moves away and leaves the project in an unstable state.

He said the city kept coming back to raise the cost of the bond and the city’s real estate commission put too many conditions on the purchase. He said he understood the element of historical preservation, but there were plenty of other conditions.

Hedrick said that performance guarantee requirements and conditions for materials and products for the home renovation were consistent among all three applicants who responded to the RFP.

He said the new order would not require a performance guarantee. It also does not include the 0 Broad Street property, which will be maintained by the city. The city’s real estate commission has not yet decided what to do with the 0 Broad Street property.

According to the schedule published in the new order, Mother Bailey House performances are scheduled for 3 p.m. on September 12 and will be reviewed by the city that month. A recommendation will be submitted to the city council in September or October.

The property is valued at $142 thousand, according to the valuation requested by the city.

Hedrick said the 18th-century home would need a renovation, including treating its foundations, assessing electrical and plumbing systems, and replacing windows.

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