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Angry, Then Sad


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It's very common for developers to purchase large colonial era farms in these parts. Some actually work around the farmhouse, but knock down all the outbuildings and it usually ends up on the smallest lot in the development.

A former client, now a developer, called a couple weeks ago and asked if I would inspect a 150 year old farmhouse. He claimed it wasn't cost effective to restore and he wanted a report to show township officials that it needs too much work and should be demolished. He remembered how in-depth his inspection was and how much detail went into the report.

I explained to him that I would not contribute to the demolition of an historic home and have been retained many times in the past by groups fighting developers and other evil beings that attempt to destroy fine examples of our architectural and agricultural history. He assured me that he respects my expertise and if I thought the home was worthy of restoration, they would consider it. He scheduled an appointment for today.

This morning, I arrived early at the subdivision. After viewing the exterior of the 3 story stone home, the client's partner arrived to unlock the house. He insisted that I detail each and every little fault with the home, in the report, so they could start working on convincing the township. He went on to say that they need this building gone as soon as possible. I angrily told him that I'm not here to expedite demolition of an historic structure. When my client arrived, I was livid. I felt he intentionally told me "what I wanted to hear" to get me on-site. He implored me to continue the inspection, but I refused, since it was clear that my recommendations would not be used to preserve and restore the home. Not the first time I had to fire a client.

I already sent e-mails to the township historic commission, historic society and county conservancy. I'm pissed -- and sad.

Hand-cut and dressed stone, hand-split slate, hand planed trim, doors panels and sashes, hand-quarried, burned and slaked lime mortar and hand-hewn joists. Typical Bucks County, PA farmhouse.

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2007622211821_holland2.jpg

Indoor plumbing:

2007622211955_holland3.jpg

Drain from stone sink:

2007622212153_holland4.jpg

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Stonework of that quality cannot be destroyed. The wood those doors & panels are made of has been *extinct* for over a century. Thanks for getting pissed.

I'd like to think any intelligent developer could imagine their way into using the building as a core development benefit. These guy's are morons.

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These are the times when one wishes for unlimited funds and time. It'd be so gratifying to be able to stop these jerks.

Near me there are around 40 bungalows slated for demo to put in a super Wal-Mart across the street from a 100,000 sq ft Wal-Mart that will then be empty for eternity.

I've been seriously considering a third career in de-construction so that I could, at least, help to preserve elements of these noteworthy homes.

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Hi Chad,

Here's how one company helps to save homes. Last year they moved a huge 100-year old craftsman from downtown Seattle all the way to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

http://www.nickelbros.com

We've developed such a throw-away society that people don't even think about moving houses much anymore. It used to be very commonplace. Hell, a big chunk of Seattle consists of houses that were moved out of the downtown area in the early 1900's to make room for the Denny regrade project when they cut a huge chunk out of Capital Hill and dumped it into the bay to create a more buildable downtown area.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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