Clock ticking on decision for Cambridge Township towers
Ambridge Township – — A decision on what direction to take on the Irish Hills Towers’ fate will not come until at least the Cambridge Township Board’s March 11 meeting.
Township officials have been trying to get the owners of the towers to make substantial repairs to the long-closed tourist attraction after the township declared the towers “dangerous structures.”
The Irish Hills Historical Society, the official owners of the towers, has been seeking grant funding and public donations to help finance approximately $300,000 in needed upgrades and repairs. According to irishhillstowers.com, the society has been able to raise about $80,000 since the fundraising campaign started in 2012.
Township officials and towers co-owner Donna Boglarsky have each had inspectors make assessments. In September, when a final decision on the fate of the towers seemed to be at hand, the township board voted to hold off with demolition proceedings after historical society member Kelly Flaherty presented a letter to the board from Scott McElrath, president of Dangerous Architects of Chelsea and a state of Michigan historic architect.
In the letter, McElrath wrote that, in his professional opinion, the towers are no longer structurally dangerous because of repairs made by the Boglarsky family.
Both towers were among the first tourist attractions in the Irish Hills and proved popular for many years. The wooden structures were acquired by the Boglarsky family in 1976 and were operated until the end of the 2000 summer season, when the family closed them to the public. The towers were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
The township board has granted numerous extensions to the society and Boglarsky to make repairs that would remove the twin structures from the township’s “dangerous buildings” list.