Tabor Academy delays plans to take down historic home

Nov 6, 2019

MARION — Tabor Academy has decided to delay its plans to take down the historic home at 192 Front Street after taking into consideration the input from community members and history enthusiasts.

Known as the Percy Browne, or Tenbrook House, the home was built by famous architect H.H. Richardson in 1881, and is known for exemplifying shingle-style homes that remain popular to this day.

Due to the building’s poor condition, Tabor previously announced plans to demolish the home, but the school has since rethought that decision.

Head of School John Quirk said that “one of our mission tenets is to ‘promote a life-long love of learning,’ and we are always professing to our students the value of new, knowledgeable, and differing perspectives. To turn an over-confident blind-eye to the perspectives we have been receiving would be out of line with how we want to be as a school and how we want our students to be as thoughtful citizens.”

Quirk went on to say that he is unsure of a final solution at this point, but that “No matter the outcome, the investment of a few months and some open conversation is worthwhile, and I’m pleased we’re in position to delay. We will see what the next number of weeks bring in terms of opportunity, and adjust to reflect whatever progress is being made.”

In a Marion Historical Commission meeting on Oct. 29, Marion residents, and history and architecture enthusiasts voiced their concerns to Quirk. Some in attendance said that while the design of the home may seem typical today, it is an early example of the modern American shingle style home design, and should be preserved or restored due to its historical significance.