The owner of the landmark Lafayette House restaurant says he has no intention of razing the historic building and sought a building demolition permit simply to get his “affairs in order.”
Owner Ron Young told The Foxboro Reporter the permit just makes it easier for him to sell the property if he chooses to do so in the future.
He emphasized, however, that he has no intention of doing so and the famed restaurant is open, and will remain so.
He said concerns about the rapid spread of the coronavirus made him give deeper thought to his future.
“I wanted to make sure I was taking care of my family, that they would have less to deal with if something happened to me,” Young said in a telephone interview. “I never want to leave them with a burden.”
Young said the demolition permit can be renewed each year and he has no intention of using it to raze the building.
“Just because you have a demo permit doesn’t require you to act on it,” he said.
Young said he has bookings for catering and functions into 2021.
“I’m not going anywhere,” he said. “We’re not bringing down the building, closing ... nothing like that.”
Foxboro Town Manager William Keegan said he misunderstood the nature of the Lafayette House application, thinking incorrectly the business had sought a demolition permit from the town building department rather than a ruling under Foxboro’s historic demolition bylaw.
That bylaw allows the historical commission to impose a six-month demolition moratorium for any structure deemed historically significant -- ostensibly providing time for involved parties to explore other alternatives.
In this case the commission decided against imposing a six-month reprieve, saying that little remained of the original structure, which was built in 1784.
Keegan also said he has since received information that the Route 1 establishment is booked for business at least through the beginning of 2021.
The building, which was said to have been visited by Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, and the Marquis de Lafayette, did close at the start of the pandemic but is now open Tuesdays through Sundays starting at 4 p.m. Takeout is also available.