"I am 3/4ths Canadian, and one 4th New Englander - I had ancestors on both sides in the Revolutionary war." - Elizabeth Bishop

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Value of the Elizabeth Bishop House

In today’s online newspaper allnovascotia.com (17 November 2014 issue), there appears an article by Courtney Zwicker about the Elizabeth Bishop House. The menu link title of this piece is: “Bishop House Gets Cheaper.” The main inside title is: “Elizabeth Bishop House Value Washes Away.”

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke with Ms Zwicker about my concern about the impact of the flood of 22 September 2014 on the EB House. I even wrote a letter to the provincial government expressing this concern. The flood had an impact, of course; but the affect on the perceived and actual “value” of the house is a complex matter and must be assessed and understood in context.

My purpose in writing the eight or nine EB House updates that I have posted on this blog since the flood (you can find them by scrolling down this page and going into the archives for September and October) has been to show the impact. The house itself was structurally undamaged and the yard has been restored. I directed Ms Zwicker to these blog posts and assumed she would grasp the context that I presented in them.

I am writing this post to state publicly that I do not agree with the conclusion that the value of the house has “washed away.” This headline is exaggerated, even sensational, and implies a great deal that is not accurate.

There is, of course, the issue of the threat of another exceptional flood (that is what the flood of 22 September was). Perception is a powerful force in the world and the perception that such a threat exists has an impact. BUT the EB House is just fine, as you can see by the update that I posted yesterday (16 November 2014), directly below this post. The perception set up by Ms Zwicker’s piece is distressing and may have its own impact on the value of the house. I feel compelled to state my different view of the matter.

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