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Cascade's Request For Street Name Rejected
Tammy Daniels,
08:44PM / Tuesday, July 19, 2011

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Community Development Committee on Tuesday voted not to recommend a change in name for a section of Grimes Street.

Cascade Paper Co. of 1 Brown St., which has been operating on Brown and Grimes street for more than 80 years, had asked to change the name of Grimes to Cascade Way from the intersection on Brown Street to the point where it takes a turn toward State Road.

The business's offices are on Grimes Street, not Brown Street, said Todd E. Shafer, vice president. "It's little bit misleading because it's not our address."

While the company doesn't get a lot of traffic, "we put our street address on different things and to me it adds a little status to have the street named after your company as opposed to something else," he said.

"I'm pro Cascade," said committee member David Lamarre, who said he worked there as a teenager. "But from a general manner of principal, I'm opposed to renaming city streets. I don't see a real value, I don't see a necessity in it for the company."

The address change would only affect Cascade; all the homes are on or after the turn. However, several neighbors objected, saying it would change the historic and residential character of the neighborhood. 

"It is a family-oriented neighborhood, not a business zone," Garry and Mary Robert of 2 Grimes St. wrote to the committee. They were concerned that a new name would indicate the company owned the street and change the character of the neighborhood.

John Larese, who owns his grandfather's house at 4 Grimes St., said the neighborhood had been named in honor of a family that had done much for the city in the 19th century. "There is a lot of history there."

Lamarre said he understood how it might be more attractive to have a street address with the company name but didn't believe it would "make or break Cascade after 80-plus years in business."

Committee Chairman Lisa Blackmer said unless it involved a public safety issue, such as the confusion over addresses on Barbour Street that resulted in part of that road being renamed Brayton Hill Terrace. "I really don't think renaming this street is a good idea."

The committee noted it had also rejected the idea of renaming part of Summer Street for horticulturist Lue Gim Gong.

Shafer said he had hoped that renaming part of the street would continue to honor the Grimes while also recognizing the Wells family's committment to maintaining Cascade in the city even though they have moved away.

"I thought it would be a nice thing for our company; the company's been there for 80 years, and I thought the owners would like it," he said. "The owners live out of state, they are not involved in the day-to-day operations but they are very proud that they keep business in North Adams."

Larese said he would support signage at the four points on Brown and Grimes street indicating the business and the location of its offices.

The committee suggested Shafer contact the Historical Commission to see if that board had any ideas on how better to recognize the company and its history in the neighborhood.

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