Board holds off demolition of pre-Civil War home on Farmer

Published 11:56 am Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A home believed to have been built before the Civil War has been saved from the city’s demolition list.

The vacant home at 725 Farmer St. was one of four in the city’s historic district brought before the Board of Architectural Review Tuesday.

The board voted unanimously to grant the property a 180-day grace period because of its historic significance. If no one intervenes, the house will come before the board again.

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“It’s one of the earlier houses in that neighborhood,” said Tom Pharr, board member and owner of Anchuca, a bed and breakfast at 100 First East St. “From a historical standpoint, it would be worth saving. I’d just hate to see that house demolished without giving someone the opportunity to purchase it and restore it.”

Pharr believes the home is about 180 years old.

“This one is very rare,” he said. “It’s not an opulent house, but it’s in a unique area.”

Homes that did make the demolition list Tuesday are at 2112 Oak St., and 2312 and 2310 Pearl St. Each was built during the 1930s, city Buildings and Inspections Director Victor Gray-Lewis said.

“They’re all (in) degradation and that hurts the neighborhoods,” he said.

All the homes brought up for review Tuesday are heir properties.

The number of homes in the city demolished so far this year was unavailable. In 2010, 25 were demolished. After the city destroys a home, a tax lien is placed on the property to make up for the cost of the demolition.

In other business, the board granted Betty Bullard, owner of Main Street Market, her request to build a deck between her restaurant and the house to the west. Also, the board permitted Patricia Dates to add garage doors to her property at 1931 Washington St. and Ronnie McDaniel to repair the roof of his 1314 Washington St. property.

In addition to Pharr, board members present were Dorwin Shields, Sue Seratt, Thurman Nelson and Toni Lanford Ferguson.