Lowell Deeds

The latest on real estate recordings and new technology from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds in Lowell

December 20, 2007

Accomodation Policy

by @ 12:14 pm. Filed under Registry Ops

The state’s Architectural Access Board (AAB) is currently prosecuting a case against the Commonwealth based on lack of access to certain areas of the Superior Courthouse. The dilemma faced by the Division of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) is that with an entirely new courthouse scheduled to open in Lowell in the next few years, spending $1 mil or more to add an elevator to this building seems to make little fiscal sense. As the AAB sees it, however, the state has had dozens of years to address these problems effectively, and their past tardiness should not now serve as an excuse to avoid doing work that should have been done years ago. A more practical challenge for DCAM is the layout of this building which is actually to buildings butted up against each other. (Regular readers are undoubtedly familiar with how the rear building, originally constructed right along Gorham Street, was pushed 60 feet backward in 1894 to make room for the “new” building that now runs along the Gorham Street sidewalk). For some reason, the floors of the rear building are two feet higher than the corresponding floor of the front building. So rather than servicing just two floors, an elevator would have to reach four floors and would also have to have direct access from the ground around the building. Despite these challenges, it is my understanding that DCAM will be constructing an elevator for the building although the exact location of it has yet to be determined. While the elevator undoubtedly represents the most expensive part of the project, there are a number of other measures we will be taking to make our services more accessible to individuals who have mobility and other limitations. As these are implemented, we will use this blog to announce and explain what’s going on.

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