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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

HISTORIC HOUSE RAZING


Some of you might remember when I placed a post last May about the above home. At that time the home located in Lancaster, Kentucky was being considered for restoration. Recently, it was decided, after they began work on it, that it was unstable and would need to come down. Razed is the official term. Sad, as it is part of the town's history. It was the early home of a doctor that practiced in the area. The home was probably built in the late 1800s or early 1900s. 

But some buildings just can't be saved. They have crossed the line of viability. 



So the above photo is what it looked like on Saturday September 15th. All the original brick had been removed. Leaving its interior timbers exposed. This photo was taken at roughly the same angle as the top photo.

Mark looking over some of the pieces he has saved from the doctor's old home.

The local bank owns  the building and has a record of saving several historic buildings for reuse and to preserve some of the original architectural integrity of Lancaster. This effort is greatly appreciated by the community. 

Above is Mark, a local artifact restorer sorting out architectural pieces that can be salvaged for future restorations. He decides what elements can be saved -- he then removes them carefully from the old home.  These pieces will be stored away until they can find a home in another  historic structure.  Although the building can't be saved, its architectural elements such as mantels, doors, windows, etc. will be saved. 

Yesterday, on  the 17th, the house was slated to come down. One could feel frustration that this home with so much history was razed. But, I think, the true story is that the community is proud of what has been saved with the help of their local bank. 


20 comments:

  1. A sad event, for sure. I always like to see historic homes/buildings saved. However, sometimes they just cannot be. Nice to see that historic pieces were salvaged from the home.

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    1. Michelle -- Lancaster has saved several historic buildings in their business section. As you know it is a fairly small town so each structure saved maintains the cohesion of its historic feeling. I agree with you on all your points. thanks -- barbara

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  2. Sometimes, even saving architectural elements is saving the building, essentially. I love that idea and am glad to read of those efforts.

    I noticed bird nests inside the walls?

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    1. Teresa -- I noticed what looked like bird's nests when I took the photo -- I really couldn't tell for sure if they were actually bird nests. Removing the architectural elements for reuse will surely help transform another worn historic structure in Lancaster. thanks -- barbara

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  3. Barbara, Thank you so much for sharing this information. I love hearing that they are working to save historic pieces to use later. Great idea..

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    1. turquoisemoon -- So many of our neat old buildings are just bulldozed to the ground and swept up and delivered to a land fill. I really like that the local bank in Lancaster is sensitive to history. -- thanks barbara

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  4. That's very sad, but interesting that you got some pics of it. I'm sorry when old buildings can't be preserved.

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    1. Elise -- the town of Lancaster has a wealth of historic buildings. It's an active community that treasures its history. Their local bank has contributed to preserving structures. So just think that here is a community that savors and cares for its older buildings. Some communities in our country really sell out their older buildings to Walmart-type newer buildings and relinquishing the older ones by sending them to landfills. Now that is what I call sad. -- thanks -- barbara

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  5. I guess we can't save it all, but having a plan is good.

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    1. marcia -- You save some, you lose some as my friend used to say. But in some communities saving some is a priority. thanks -- barbara

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  6. It sounds like Lancaster is an unusually sensitive community and the bank that owns the house was responsible in not razing until they found how unstable it was. I wish more towns and cities cared so much for their historic buildings.

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    1. Like many preservation minded towns, Lancaster recognizes that historic architecture is part of their cultural fabric. If you are ever in Ky I's be glad to take you on a tour -- thanks -- barbara

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  7. That's sad about the building, but at least some of the artifacts can be used again and live on in another house. Lancaster does indeed sound like a progressive community.

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    1. Rubye, The work crew had actually started on preserving the building. It was at this point that they realized it could not be saved. It is nice that the artifacts were saved for future projects. Thanks -- barbara

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  8. Have you seen a photo of the original house back then> Love to see that.

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    1. Birdman -- No I haven't. When I first saw the house several years ago it had a fairly modern shop attached to the front of house. I took a photo of the house with that addition but somehow it has disappeared from my photos. Perhaps the historical society has one that I can use -- if so I will post it. thanks -- barbara

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  9. Sadness comes when these old buildings are taken down. Maybe we feel that way, because we ourselves resemble these buildings the older we get. Like we, these buildings can be organ donors...giving their parts to live on in another body.

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    1. Nature Weaver -- Quite an analogy. I look at old buildings as historic fabric -- they have a language to tell us if we listen -- barbara

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  10. I guess it is like that for many icons of the past, whether it be a home of historic value, barns or old cars that are seen rusting along a country road. It makes you wonder what it will be like 100 years from now when most will be gone if not restored. What is there today that we have new that will withstand elements of weather and wear!

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    1. Diane -- Difficult to predict the future -- only can we look to the past for a history of how we have handled preservation. Some countries are better at it than others. I believe there is a growing awareness of saving historic farm buildings and homes -- both high end and sustainable types. But is does seem like we are also losing a lot. No stats to prove what I think. -- thanks for stopping by -- barbara

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