Preservationists in Concord are trying to save a home linked to the abolitionist movement and once owned by one of the first freed slaves in Massachusetts. The current owners want to demolish the small house before selling the property. But before casting the owners as villians in this saga, keep in mind that barely anyone in Concord knew of the home’s historic significance until demolition permits were yanked. It appears the town is now poised to do the right thing: save the structure, move it close to the national historic park and everyone will be happy. But why the last minute rush? Why does it always take a crisis to act in these cases? Perhaps the question answers itself: It takes a crisis to act in these cases.

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