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Rosses plan to move ahead with demolition

Ipswich - The demolition delay instituted on the building that adjoins Ipswich News on Market Street is up in early January. The owners of that building, Arthur and Peter Ross, plan to move ahead with their plans to demolish it and rebuild. The fate of the Ipswich News building itself is still up in the air as the new year begins.

The Historical Commission instituted the one-year demo delay in hopes the building, which was heavily damaged in a fire that started in Ipswich News, might be saved. The Rosses, however, believe there is not enough of the building left to make it worth saving.

Arthur Ross said that during the past year the family has hired architects and engineers to draw up plans for a new building that will be in line with surrounding structures, such as the Rosses law offices at 20 Market St.

"We want it to look better downtown," Ross said, "and more in line with what we think of as 17th century."

He is confident, he said, that when the building is done Ipswich residents will like it.

Once the demo delay expires, the Rosses will begin the official permitting process. They have no timeline at this point for the demolition and construction. It all depends on how quickly they can secure the necessary permits. Weather is also a factor.

The Rosses building shares a stairway with Ipswich News. Ross said the buildings are joined for a span of 15 to 20 feet and that during the demolition the joining wall will be shored up.

The fate of the Ipswich News building, owned by the Allen family, is still up in the air. John Allen and his daughters, who lived above the store, commonly known as The Paper Store, lost everything in the fire, their personal belongings and the business that had sustained them.

Allen's mother, Barbara, who also lives in Ipswich, said the family is waiting to see what happens when the demo delay is lifted and the Rosses begin their work.

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