YORK (AP) – While Bowdoin College hailed the sale of a historic home in York to two local men, town officials warned that the property is not yet safe from threats to demolish the house or build on the land surrounding it.

The waterfront home that belonged to the late Mary Marvin Breckinridge Patterson was donated to Bowdoin College in 1974, and placed on the market last October for $5.3 million.

Bowdoin officials said Tuesday that Mark Toney and Daniel Hartigan of Cape Neddick have agreed to buy the property, also known as the River House. Details of the sale were confidential.

College officials said the men plan to preserve the mansion, once the summer home of the descendants of tire magnate B.F. Goodrich, as a single-family, private residence.

“They are the type of buyers we really hoped to find,” said Sue Danforth, spokeswoman for the college. “This is definitely a win-win situation.”

She said the sale is expected to close in the fall, and the new owners plan to live in the house.

A town official said he was glad the buyers were from York, but wanted to know if they plan to build on the 23-acre estate.

“Just because it was sold to somebody doesn’t mean it still couldn’t be in jeopardy,” said Michael Palumbo, vice chairman of York’s Board of Selectmen.

Fears of development prompted some York residents to lobby town officials to designate the house a local historic landmark, which would have required future owners who wanted to renovate or raze the house to get approval from the Historic District Commission, as well as the usual permits from the town’s code enforcement office.

A public hearing on whether the question should be placed on November’s ballot, scheduled for Aug. 31, will likely still be held, Palumbo said.

One member of the Historic District Commission said she was happy the house had been sold.

“I’m delighted that it’s local people who will have the interests of the town,” Helen Rollins-Lord said.


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