Hansen Homestead finally demolished in the name of progress
Another small part of old Cicero disappeared Nov. 25 when the Hansen home was razed. It would have been great to live in this house 30 years ago when the screen for the North Drive-In was visible from the backyard of the historic Cicero residence. But, a Wal-Mart replaced the drive-in and credit union is now rumored to be taking the place of this home.
Junius and Hertha Hansen owned a poultry farm outside of North Syracuse when they purchased this home in 1954. At the time, Route 11 was a two lane road and the North Drive-In had been built four years earlier on the site of a neighboring farm owned by the Read family.
The site was the subject of controversy in 2004 when Mrs. Hansen, who was 90 at the time, refused to sell her home to the developers of the drive-in site for a Wal-Mart. The home stood in the way of the proposed entrance.
The town considered using eminent domain to seize the property for the developer, but ultimately refused to exercise its authority. Mrs. Hansen rejected an offer to purchase the property for $450,000, plus use of the home for life. Consequently, the Wal-Mart entrance was redesigned around the Hansen property.
Hertha Hansen died in 2006 at the age of 92, after living in the home for more than 50 years. The property was recently sold for $ 500,000.
With the razing of the Hansen house, the area immediately surrounding the old drive-in has been completely redeveloped and is virtually unrecognizable from its appearance 10 years ago.
Thomas B. Mafrici is the Cicero Town Historian. If you have any old photos or stories about the Cicero-Brewerton area, contact Tom at email@example.com or call him at 699-3095.