Two preservation efforts that deserve strong support:
•There's a bill before the General Assembly that would permanently protect the Savin Farm, 575 acres of prime state-owned farmland in Lebanon. As a recent report from the state Council on Environmental Quality made clear, the simple fact that the state owns a piece of land doesn't guarantee that it won't be sold, traded or developed.
The bill would grant a permanent conservation easement to a nonprofit organization to protect the land and keep it in agriculture. At present, the state leases nearly half the land for farming operations; the rest includes a large lake, waterways and woodlands.
There is every reason to support this effort. The land is in a strong agricultural community, one that's made a serious commitment to maintaining its farming industry. The land has a high percentage of prime agriculture soils. It's rare when a parcel of this size and quality can be preserved in perpetuity, for minimal cost.
•The Hartford Preservation Alliance, the Farmington Avenue Alliance and others are trying to save one of the loveliest buildings on Farmington Avenue, the elegant 1910 Queen Anne style structure at 293 Farmington at the corner of South Marshall Street.
The 21/2-story building, a study in symmetries, had offices and apartments but has been vacant for several years. It's believed to have been built as a townhouse complex, and could again be market-rate housing.
Hartford's avenues are vitally important, and preservation groups and others have been working for more than a decade to improve the Farmington Avenue corridor. Saving and reusing signature historic buildings such as this one is essential to this effort.