Aug 10, 2010 Doug Campbell Uncategorized
Preservationists are up in arms now that a historic home at the edge of the village faces demolition.
Property owner David Muraco felt it was his right to demolish a home on his property at the southeast end of the village. But when he applied for a permit, he immediately met resistance from those in favor of preservation, including members of the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation and the Historic Business District of Cazenovia, who feel the historic Enders Farm House on Route 20 is an important part of the gateway between the edge of the village and the town.
“What started this is that there’s a wrecked barn,” Muraco said. “The barn’s about to fall down … [tenants] are forbidden to go into that barn because it’s actually dangerous.”
Muraco applied for a demolition permit and was made to go through a lengthy process.
“I thought I might as well go through for the whole property,” he said.
While gas station/convenience store franchise Nice and Easy has expressed an interest in the parcel, nothing has been officially determined.
Ted Bartlett believes the historic Enders house should be preserved.
“Others in the community are mobilizing, I believe, in support of saving the house where it is. The site, setting, house and barn create a great buffer and village edge between ag lands and commercial,” he said. “Sort of a line in the sand.”
Bartlett is against moving the house.
“While the owner has offered the house to anyone who will move it, that is a last resort and should not be part of the discussions until all the other issues have played out,” he said. “Any funding for moving it would probably have to be private or not-for-profit.”
But Muraco believes moving the house is the only viable solution. The Cazenovia Preservation Foundation owns a piece of land immediately to the right of his property, and Muraco said that they could move the house there.
“This was the area that was to be for development” according to the comprehensive plan, Muraco said. “I will continue with the process and I will get what I want, I really believe. I didn’t get any funding from the government; I didn’t ask for any grants; there never was any federal money or state money.”
The building was built around 1830 and includes a 19th century barn. Both the house and barn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Although the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, that designation provides no protection,” said Barbara Clarke, of the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation, in a letter to the Town of Cazenovia Planning Board. “As long as an owner is not using public funds, there are no prohibitions against demolishing or moving a registered building…. Without a new location, these historic buildings are in jeopardy.”
Muraco maintains that the house should be moved.
“It was a nice house, but it’s gotta go somewhere. Right next door, or even move it across the street,” he said. “But I’m not gonna pay to move it, it’d be cheaper for me to demo it.”
Preservationists will continue to make appeals to the town, which they hope will issue a moratorium on demolition until further action can be considered.