Woodlawn Stables owner Cindy Mitchell said Friday she is "disheartened" to hear that the National Trust for Historic Preservation will not renew her lease beyond 2016.
Editor's note: Read the National Trust decision here.
"I am disheartened to hear that the National Trust for Historic Preservation has chosen not to renew my lease beyond 2016," she said in an email to Mount Vernon Patch. "I feel that I have been an excellent steward of the property entrusted to me for over two decades. The historic Woodlawn Stables property, which I have maintained and improved, is a center piece of our community.
The decision by the Trust comes on the heels of a controversial federal road-widening project for Route 1 being discussed by members of the community that impacts various stakeholders. At a hearing held earlier this year, local residents said they preferred a widening-in-place option.
"I am very sad for the citizens of Mount Vernon and those who revere preserving our history," she said. "I am mostly saddened for the future generations who will not get to experience the joy of horses and the confidence and commitment they foster in our youth as a result of this loss.
A group of supporters who want to help save Woodlawn Stables also weighed in on the controversy Friday:
"Obviously, Save Woodlawn Stables is devastated by the NTHP announcement that the Scanlin Farms lease at Woodlawn will not be renewed past 2016. We have been working throughout the Federal Highway’s consulting parties process to try and design the Bypass in such a way that it would minimize the takings of the Trust property and still allow for a viable equestrian business to remain on the site.
This has been the goal of our thousands of supporters from the start. That the Route 1 widening should not force the removal of a cherished local business that has acted as a good steward on the Woodlawn property for decades. We are dismayed that the Trust has announced their decision without meeting with the community or the leaseholder to discuss the impacts of the road widening on their property, and try and find ways we could move forward together to preserve Woodlawn for the future.
Save Woodlawn Stables hopes that’s the Trust’s highest preservation standards and desire to protect its historic resources and the public’s interest includes restoring to the property to its intended purpose as an equestrian facility. We will continue working as a consulting party in the development and design of the new Rt. 1 bypass, and continue to hold the Trust to their standards while preserving Woodlawn’s meadows and its rich history as an working equestrian farm for over 100 years."
Read more about the issue here:
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