I was walking down Columbia the other day when I saw a small group of neighbors gathered in front of a property in the 700 block of 16th Ave. They were looking at a pile of splinters that just a few hours earlier was a big, three-story, four-unit home.
The old house was built in 1901, and had almost 4,000 square feet of space across each of its four apartments. It sold in June of 2007 for $1.25 million.
According to permits filed with the city, the owner of the property is planning to build a single three-story home with 1,962 square feet of living space and a 350 square foot garage.
That’s not a whole lot of house to fill an unusually large, 9,600 square foot lot, so I’m guessing there’s bigger plans in store for this property. The key will be to see where they site the new home. If it’s on one side or a corner, I’d expect to see a future application to subdivide the lot for townhomes.
And a quick note to developers: when you’re tearing down an old house, can you at least try to salvage some of the stuff inside it? The pile of rubble included all sorts of valuable stuff, such as classic 5-panel wooden doors that could have been easily saved.
The old house going down is sad as it is, but they could at least give the ReStore or Second Use a call and give them a day or two to salvage stuff before tearing it down!
Those concerned about salvage and with an interest in helping could try contacting developers before the demolition if you become aware of the plan. Sometimes there’s no advance notice, but if there’s a yellow DPD Land Use sign on the property it might be a link to possible demolition. Another soon-to-be demolished century old house in the neighborhood is at 902 13th Avenue. If you want to ask if the developer is willing to consider the possibility of salvage, the name listed on the DPD Web site is Vitaliy Afichuck, (206)730-7990 or (206) 617-8457.
This project is being done by W.G.C. Premier Builders, Inc. According to their web site, they are owned by William and Elliott Gustavson. Again, from their website: “We are a Built Green company. When you build green you have to put in a lot more effort.”
From the Built Green website: “Built Green builders and remodelers recycle as much as possible of scrap building materials and post a jobsite recycling plan to decrease the amount of materials going to our already overburdened landfills. Building materials such as lumber, wall board, concrete, cardboard, ceiling tiles, paints and packaging can often be recycled. If a remodeler or builder is deconstructing an existing building on the site, many of those materials can also be salvaged or recycled including wood flooring, framing materials, brick, ceramic tile and stone, trim and cabinetry, among others.”
They did remove the front porch columns…
It could have been moved to a vacant lot and reused. Built Green certification is a joke!
I walked by this building about two weeks ago, and when I saw the yellow permit sign, knew it was destined for removal. Intreged by the beautiful Southern Colonial extertior, I took liberty to glance in through the front door side lights. I could see what might have been a large formal entry way that had been divided into cramped individual unit entrances. Though I did note that the front porch pilars had been removed, I could see additional exterior mill work and arched windows that I hoped would also be salvaged. If the exterior was an indicator of the interior, then hopefully more salvage was performed.
I ride by this property every day on my bike. Update: the new house foundation is indeed being built to the far-south corner of the lot with a huge amount of space to the north. Looks like another wonderful and generic townhouse to grace our streets in place of beauty and history.
If you really have an issue with the land being developed – then maybe you could purchase the property for 1.25 million… Since so many people can afford a house for that much these days.
Like mentioned above, if you are really that angry about it, then why don’t you seek out ways to help, like when you see the land use sign posted (which is a requirement, so there never is “no notice”) then contact the developer and salvage the stuff yourself. Rather then just posting mad comments on the web – because we all know how helpful it is to talk with no action…
And by the way – just because you think that the stuff is perfectly good and reusable does not mean that it actually is. Judging from a “pile of rubble” and peeking in through windows is not accurate. Neither is taking statements out of context.
And just because something met building code requirements when put into the old house does not mean that it does now – thus making it unusable.