Frank Beede House update

Thank you to everyone who attended Monday night’s hearing about the demolition plans for the Beede House, and to all who have contacted me to express their opinions on this matter. Discussions are continuing, and we will be scheduling another meeting soon to continue the conversation. In the meantime, please feel free to contact me with any additional comments, concerns or suggestions.


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March 8 Monitor article

At meeting in Penacook, many call on American Legion to preserve historic Beede House 
The old Beede House is seen on Washington Street in Penacook on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. The American Legion Post 31 has applied for a permit to demolish the historic home.

(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff) The old Beede House is seen on Washington Street in Penacook on Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. The American Legion Post 31 has applied for a permit to demolish the historic home. (ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)


Monitor staff

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Rick Jacques’s father served in the military, and some of his closest friends are members of the American Legion Post 31 in Penacook.

Jacques is also the president of the Penacook Historical Society, a member of the Heritage Commission and a self-proclaimed lover of old buildings.

So when he stood to speak Monday night about the legion’s plan to demolish a historic Washington Street duplex in favor of a new post, he told the crowd he spoke “with a heavy heart.”

“That’s why this hurts so much,” Jacques said.

He was near the end of a long line of impassioned speakers, most of whom implored the legion to preserve the 1860s-era home – often known as the Beede House. They addressed a public hearing of Concord’s Demolition Review Committee; that group can accept testimony but cannot block an owner from razing property.

With more than 80 people inside, the hall at the United Church of Penacook was standing-room only. Four people spoke on behalf of the legion, while more than 15 spoke or wrote to implore the group to save the historic house.

“Hopefully, the legion and the vets in general understand that our only desire is to get them to look at their plan again and see if their plan is feasible and makes the most sense in our village,” Jacques said. “We too will pass on, leaving our children and grandchildren and the houses we built.”

But the American Legion has been planning this new post for years.

The house in question – 12-14 Washington St. – is located on an adjacent lot to the current legion post at 11 Charles St. The post hosts social events and meetings, but it is small and not handicapped accessible. The members’ wish list for a new location includes an accessible layout, preferably all on one floor for handicapped veterans; a commercial kitchen; and a larger hall for funeral receptions or functions.

Representatives from the group talked Monday evening about the yearslong search for such a site. For example, the legion considered the former home of Beede Electric, but decided the rehab needed on the building was too expensive.

In 2008, the group bought the Beede House for $300,000. Its original hope was to renovate it, but that plan also proved to be pricey. So for several years, the legion has been working on a plan to tear down the old and build new.

“It’s almost unfair that at the eleventh hour you come, and you say, ‘Whoa,’ ” Penacook resident Deb Newell said in defense of the legion. “You know, these guys have worked hard.”

Legion representatives also noted the nonprofit’s outreach in the community, through financial donations and events like an annual fishing derby for kids.

“The history of our town is not just about old buildings,” adjutant David Newell said. “It’s about the people who live and work here. American Legion veterans are all wartime veterans, and they are a vital part of the history of our town.”

But village residents were still unhappy with the plan and advocated for historic preservation. Althea Barton, a village resident and board member at the Penacook Historical Society, has started a personal blog about the house’s history. Descendents of the Beede family themselves spoke about their memories of the house and its earlier residents. One woman read a letter from her mother, who had lived in the house. Her words vividly described running down the stairs on Christmas, sitting on the front porch with her grandmother and eating plums from the trees in the yard.

The duplex has changed hands since those ancestors have died. It was rented up until last year, but has been vacant in recent months. Nearby neighbors questioned whether a busier legion post would fit with the character of the residential and historic neighborhood.

“This is not against the legion; it is definitely not against our veterans,” Washington Street resident Joshua Grover said. “For the community, though, the concern is, one, the loss of a building that does have historic value, but also the new building and what that can do to a community.”

Others suggested the legion work to preserve the house’s facade, or design the new building with the architectural character of the existing home. Penacook resident Dean Dexter noted the old railroad station torn down years ago in Concord, to the chagrin of many longtime residents – and the preservation of the Pierce Manse, once threatened with demolition.

“You’ve innocently swerved into owning and becoming a steward of a well-built, classic building in a very prominent place in a community that is trying to reinvent itself,” Dexter said. “I want to protect your right to do what you want with that building. But if there’s a way to save it and to help fix this, and if there can be enough involvement with the community to help you do that, I’d love to see it.”

Ultimately, the city’s Demolition Review Committee can only be a sounding board. The committee does not vote on the demolition permit; at the end of the mandatory 49-day waiting period, the owner is free to demolish – or not.

Fred Richards, president of the committee, suggested the parties could work together beyond Monday’s public hearing.

“The applicant has every right to stick to their guns, and if they decide to take the building down, well, that’s their right,” Richards said. “We think of this as a community-based way to at least get people together and discuss differences. And sometimes, through differences, you arrive at a new position.”

(Megan Doyle can be reached at 369-3321, or on Twitter @megan_e_doyle.)

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Story ID: DemoHearing-cm-030816

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Penacook in the Monitor

Frank Beede House demolition plan

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Thank You!

Thanks again Ward 1 voters!

I appreciate your support and am honored by your confidence in me. I promise to do my best to serve you as your city councilor for the next two years.  Please remember that I’m here to work for you.  Always feel free to contact me with any issues or concerns at

We have some difficult tasks before us: invigorating economic development, helping with homelessness and drug addiction, reducing crime, focusing on road maintenance for our neighborhood streets.  I believe that progress can be made on these fronts.  We are fortunate to have dedicated city staff and city council members who are up to the task. 

We have already taken steps forward on economic development with the imminent completion of the reconstruction of Village Street in Penacook and Main Street in Concord.

In Penacook, volunteers are always needed in our schools, and in our community organizations such as the Penacook Village Association, Penacook Historical Society, and Penacook Community Center and others.  Please consider joining these groups to lend a hand.  Any time volunteered is greatly appreciated.

I look forward to working together to make our community even better.

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October 2015 Update


Thank you for your interest in the election and your City Council!

Thank you for allowing me to serve you in Ward 1. Penacook is a great place to live and raise a family. We have a beautiful village center, access to rivers, and are conveniently located yet still rural.

I will continue to listen to you and work hard to achieve positive change in our community. It’s been a privilege to get to know so many smart, devoted, caring people. Please know that you can always contact me with any concern or issue. I’m here to work for you.

PROGRESS and the road ahead:

We’ve made some great progress during the past two years I’ve been on Council, but of course, there’s always more to be done.

Of priority concern is economic vitality, safety and quality of life issues.

I’m proud of Concord’s Standard & Poor’s AA+ bond rating, and that the City produced a balanced budget for the 7th year in a row. However, I think we can do more to attract businesses to our community, which is another way to enhance our economic vitality. I’m very proud of our revitalized Village Center. Already there is renewed interest in downtown Penacook and I will work to promote continued progress. I will work on focusing how Concord can promote itself and become even more business-friendly.

In Penacook, this is crucial. The percentages of city and county taxes paid by Penacook residents is actually lower than Concord residents. However, that difference is more than made up by the Merrimack Valley School District. The District accounts for 61% of the total tax burden, compared with 53% in Concord. That 53% remains unchanged from 2010, but the District’s has jumped from 57.6% in 2010 to 61% now.

(For more information, please see

If we anticipate the District will continue to be faced with growing needs, then the surest way of lowering our tax burden is to increase the tax base in Penacook by revitalizing the downtown and new businesses in 30 Pines/Village St and our commercial districts.

As to safety and quality of life, I will advocate for a return of police officers walking the beat. I support: protecting and promoting Penacook’s historic and rural character; the Penacook branch library, our parks, community center, and schools; continuing community-building events, like those sponsored by our Penacook Village Association and Penacook Historical Society as part of Concord’s 250th celebrations.

Together, we can turn our dreams of Penacook into realities!

ELECTION DAY IS TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 3, 2015, at Immaculate Conception Church. Bonney Street, Penacook!

I am asking for your vote on November 3rd so I can continue to push for progress and advance the community’s interests.   I’m building on a fifteen-year history of service to Concord and Penacook and I want to continue as your Ward 1 Councilor to help carry this work forward.

My history in the community:

While serving on the Concord 2020 Board in 2005, I led Project Penacook, which culminated in several visioning sessions and the formation of our Penacook Village Association. I chaired monthly public meetings from 2006-2008 and continue to serve on the Board.

My community service:

Penacook Village Association (PVA), founding member and Board member, 2008-present; Business & Events Subcommittee co-chair

I’ve worked with the PVA to bring a farmer’s market to Penacook, revive festivals, present concerts, and liason with the City during revitalization and reconstruction efforts.

 Transportation Policy Advisory Committee (TPAC), Council appointed Penacook representative, 2008 – present

TPAC Public Transportation Subcommittee, member 2008-present and former Interim Chair

I’ve worked with TPAC to find the best improvements for Village Street as a result of Rte. 3 reconstruction, and focused on improving bus routes and service to Penacook.

Concord 250, founder and Board President

I founded Concord 250, a non-profit organization, to support and promote the 250th anniversary of Concord in 2015 for the benefit of all residents, guests and friends of the City.

Concord 2020, former Board President

I led Concord 2020, a citizen involvement group supporting a smart growth vision in Concord.

My Council Advisory Committees:

Community Development; Economic Development; Parking; Public Safety Board; Street Trees; TPAC; Upper Floor Development; and Utility Appeals Board Chair.

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1013131518Here are three upcoming public meetings, where your thoughts and opinions can really make a difference. Hope you can attend. I’ll see you there!


The first public forum for Concord’s 250th anniversary celebrations will be held Wed, November 13th from 6-7:30 at Council Chambers, sponsored by Concord 250.  Light refreshments will be served.  Please see for more information about the organization.


The third Langley parkway public forum will be held on Thursday November 21st at 6-8 pm at Council Chambers, sponsored by the City.  This event will contain a presentation and q&a from audience.  Please see for more information.


The first public forum for the Penacook Village zoning study will be on Saturday November 23rd from 10:00 to 1:00 at the United Church of Penacook, sponsored by the City.  This event will involve a presentation, and breakout group work sessions.  Please see for more information, including a look at the City’s grant application.  Also, be sure to take the Visual Preference Survey to cast your votes for what Penacook should look like in the future.

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Thank you!

prosper in P.Thank you Ward 1 voters, friends and supporters!  I’m so proud of how many of you came out to vote on Nov. 5th.  I am honored by the confidence you’ve placed in me, and I promise to do my best to serve you in the coming years.

There are a lot of public meetings coming up in November and December on important Penacook issues. Your voice is important, and I hope you will come to the meetings, learn more about the issues, and share your views. Please stay tuned to the PVA website (  or my website for meeting announcements and updates.

Thank you again, and I look forward to seeing you around town!

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