June 19, 2018
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Rockland neighborhood off Route 1 to be leveled

Stephen Betts | BDN
Stephen Betts | BDN
The cottages that line both sides of Philbrick Avenue are scheduled to be demolished over the next week.
By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Nearly every home along a street off Route 1 is expected to be demolished over the next week.

The 12 cottage-style homes and several sheds date back more than a century in some cases.

Applications were filed this week by David Landry of Superior Restoration to demolish the buildings on Philbrick Avenue, which is located on the west side of Camden Street. The properties all are owned by Madeline Philbrick.

Philbrick said the buildings all were built by her grandfather Eugene Philbrick. She said he moved to Rockland from Somerville, bought the land and built each of the cottages by himself.

“He arrived in a horse and buggy. It was quite a thing he did,” she said.

No one is living in the buildings, which have been vacated gradually over the past 10 years.

Landry said the decision was made to demolish the buildings because of liability concerns. The condition of the buildings have deteriorated.

The city Fire Department had considered burning the structures for training purposes back in 2006 but that plan was dropped because of environmental concerns. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection informed the city that it could not burn the structures until a thorough test was done to determine whether they contained hazardous materials such as lead or asbestos. The cost of that led the city to drop the planned burnings.

The city had tried for about 20 years, starting in the 1980s, to get a state or federal grant to extend the public sewer line up Philbrick Avenue. The city was unable to get the funding and the cost to do the work was considered by the city to be prohibitive because of the extensive amount of ledge. The cottages had septic systems, many of which had been failing over the years.

The cottages were built between 1905 and 1930 and vary in size from about 600 square feet to more than 800 square feet.

Landry said there are no current plans for developing the lots once the buildings are removed.

There are three other homes on the approximately 800-foot dead-end street that belong to other property owners.

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