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When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Questions, answers and advice for people who own or work on houses built during the 20th century.

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Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Postby matchbookhouse on Fri Nov 06, 2009 1:53 pm

I hate to say this, but my county (King George, VA) FD has done this as well. A 1795 Colonial home was auctioned off after the wife passed away and the husband couldn't maintain the home on his own anymore. I attended the auction, because the wife had been an antiques dealer whose store I had shop space in for a while. The home and surrounding property were bought by the owner of a development that surrounded the property. In defense of the FD, it was really the developer's fault for not bothering to let the home be salvaged; however, a LOT of people were very angry with the county for allowing the burning. I suppose the developer may have used the excuse that the house was in poor condition, but heck, the widower was still living in it until it was sold, so it wasn't falling down or in condemnation status. Now there's a group of typical crackerbox new homes built there, with no trees or landscaping to at least screen them from the road. And since the economy tanked, they're not even selling those that have already been built. I just can't comprehend why anyone would want to destroy a historic treasure like this. Why didn't the county's Historical Society do anything?
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Re: When bad fires happen to old houses - ON PURPOSE.

Postby Eden on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:21 pm

I" just can't comprehend why anyone would want to destroy a historic treasure like this."

"It's called money " all kinds of people make a world, we are a small sort. As passionately as we care for historic homes, others prefer convenience, maintenance free, and clean and shiney. What we consider plastic, they call new. They think we are weird and we think they are selfishly arrogant. Some people prefer sports, others prefer gardening.

" Why didn't the county's Historical Society do anything?

It happens overnight, they never have a chance. Sadly, the owner is responsible to whom it is sold. He was either still ingrossed in grief, didn't undestand or didn't care. If it's across town, the historical societies never know, unless they happen by... There's no law that says owners of historic homes need to alert the historic society when they sell out to developers, unless the home is on a historic register.

I think I've mentioned before, the old Leister Farm here was sold to Parks & Recs at a loss as Mr. Leister himself would not sell to developers. He was exceptional and didn't need the money. He had planned it all out, admitted himself into an assistive care facility and practically gave the farm to Parks & Recs. The farm house and barns were just not there one day thereafter..., but he had saved the land!!

Then up the street, this georgeous old brick home was sold by the owner to the county for the new highway by-pass. He also was another old man, but he excitedly bragged about his new plastic house, with all the bells and whistles he bought for cash with the money received.

Me, I'm going to advocate here and there, and keep restoring my old house and register it so my efforts arn't turned into rubble when it's my time.
Edee
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1912 Gordon-Van Tine House Plan #122
"Be The Change You Want to see in the World," Ghandi
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