Friday, December 14, 2012
A house that is a contributor to the history of George- town will remain despite a request by the owner to have it demolished.
At last week’s Georgetown Architectural Review Board meeting, the committee voted unanimously to deny a request Tim Connolly to tear down the house at 717 High- market St.
Dwayne Vernon, the architect hired by Connolly — and also a member of the ARB who recused himself from the deliberations — said when a request was made to demolish the house previously, he fought to save it but now he feels it needs to be taken down.
He said the damage to the house — built in 1914, according to the Historic District Survey — is “far more extensive” than he first thought making it “beyond saving.”
Vernon said it will cost at least $370,000 to repair the damage to the house and even then it may not meet city codes.
A document submitted to the city as part of the demolition request states “repair is not feasible. Structural problems are so severe that the house would probably have to be torn apart and little of the original structure would remain.” It said the deterioration has taken place over several decades.
ARB member Renee King said when the committee visited the house in 2011 it was in much better shape than it is currently.
“I was shocked at the demolition by design that has taken place,” King said of the interior of the house.
The owners were granted an interior demolition permit by the city so they could see what would be required to try to save the house, said Rick Martin of the city’s Building and Planning Department.
King said he feels a lot of material was removed from the home that did not need to be removed. He said he feels the interior demolition should have been “monitored more carefully” by the city.
“It is a travesty we are at this point. This house had significance,” King said. This is a “hardship case” because it will cost much more to repair the house than it can be sold for, Vernon told the ARB.
Member Sally Gillespie said Connolly wants to build a new house on the lot. “It doesn’t seem like it’s a hardship if you can build a new house,” she said.
Now that the demolition request has been denied, it is unknown if the repairs to the house will take place.
By Scott Harper
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