Dilapidated Civil War era home demolished in downtown Beaufort

The partly crumbled home at 1012 Congress Street in downtown Beaufort made of fade wood, boarded up windows, and a roof with vines growing on it met its end on Monday.

The "freedman's cottage" style home had been approved for demolition by the city as part of an ongoing effort to free the downtown district of such abandoned aging homes.

As you might expect, preservationists aren't too thrilled by it.

The Island Packet has a before and after shot of the home and a profile about its past.

The demolition of the home previously was debated in June 2008 by the city's Historic District Review Board, below are excerpts of that debate that ended with giving the owner more time to fix up the building.

1012 Congress Street - Demolition, Final Review

Ms. Alley addressed the board. She said the Beaufort County Historic Sites Survey 1997 lists 1012 Congress Street, circa 1900, "contributes to the listed district." She said the applicant, City of Beaufort, is proposing final approval for demolition of the structure. A Public Hearing Notice was published in the Beaufort Gazette. The property was posted. The City of Beaufort Building Official provided a report stating the structure is unsafe for habitation. She also said the City has not been successful in contacting the owner. She said at the end of the meeting a site visit would be conducted and a decision made by the board at the site.

Randy Marerro, Codes Enforcement Officer, presented a PowerPoint demonstration of the structural damage.

Mr. Gadson opened the floor for public comment.

Evan Thompson, Director, Historic Beaufort Foundation (HBF) addressed the board. He said in the 1970's the City made an effort to demolish unsafe houses. He said this house remained because the owner said she would like to restore the structure. To date, no work has been performed on the structure. He said in that the City is sending notices to owners that the City is seeking demolition, it is sending a message to the owners that they do not need to consult with HBF, or some other entity, to try to save the structure. He said every attempt should be made to save the structure before demolition is considered. He said his comments regarding this structure pertain to all the structures proposed for demolition at this meeting.

Mr. Gadson closed the floor for public comment.

Motion: Mr. Huddy made a motion, seconded by Mr. Kennedy, to deny the application for demolition of the structure located at 1012 Congress Street in order to allow time to stabilize the structure. The board directed the Codes Compliance Officer to enact the Preservation of Architecturally and Historically Significant Structures Ordinance upon the structure. Mr.

Huddy, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Ungaro, Mr. Weidner and Mr. Gadson voted yea. The motion to deny passed with a vote of five to zero.

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