Thanks to John Schelp for alerting me and others that the owner of 1704 W. Markham Ave., who is intent on getting rid of the historic house currently in his way, is willing pay someone $5000 to move the house off the lot (the house is free.) As reviewed before, our city policy is that it is unnecessary to have policy that protects any property in Durham from demolition. The maximum protection is a 1 year delay that can be enacted by the Historic Preservation Commission (a city commission much like the planning commission) for properties in local historic districts.
This contributing structure in the Trinity Heights Local Historic District received this one year stay of execution, which did not dissuade the owner.
As a last resort, I'd much prefer to see the house moved than destroyed - ideally within Trinity Heights, as it is part of what makes them a historic district. Here is the text forwarded by John.
"Folks, now is your opportunity to own a part of Durham
You can have the Tate House for free if you move it
from its current location at 1704 West Markham Street.
In February 2007, the Historic Preservation Commission
approved the demolition of the yellow house behind
Dollar General -- with a 365 day delay. According to
Steve Cruse, City of Durham, 1704 Markham is being
prepared for demolition as early as February 12.
I spoke with the current owner yesterday. Jeff Monsein
is offering the house for free to someone willing to
move it. He'll also write you a $5000 check to help
defray the costs of moving the house. He is asking for
a firm commitment by Friday, February 8.
If you are interested, and if you have an empty
parcel, please email Carrie Mowry at Preservation
Durham at email@example.com as soon as you
get the chance.
Here's some background on the Tate House at 1704 West
Markham in Trinity Heights...
I understand that library records indicate the house
was built in the early 1920s. (It might be older.)
The fist occupant was W.G. Tate, who worked at
Imperial Life Insurance. From 1955 and 1956 Erwin
Mills supervisor William Bumpass and his wife Imogene
lived there. From 1957 to 1958, Erwin Mills tech
worker Herman J. Reid and his wife Claudia lived in
the house. In 1959, Erwin Mill assistant overseer
Robert Holder and his wife Virginia lived there. Since
then, a number of Duke faculty and others have lived
in the house across from the East Campus wall."