Our first and highest priority is to respect the Holtzman Corporation's timeframe, which is the end of the year for the removal of the house. It is his property, and the Holtzman employees are our neighbors and community. People and community trump even historic buildings.
Our second priority is to get the house stabilized by moving it to a lot located within the Historic District.
The overall structure presents well, and the interior is rather contemporary, especially in comparison to what was the trend just ten years earlier. The plan is efficient, losing no space to hallways. The house would work quite well as a professional or non-profit office, private home or even museum.
We are working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office and believe the home can be listed individually on the historic register after having been moved, and despite being moved, provided we can move it into the Historic District. This will afford a good amount of historic tax credits to offset the cost of the move.
As Mr. Holtzman rightly stated in the newspaper article, the foundation is shot. Moving the house to a new foundation will of course take care of this problem, even if we end up with only a crawl space in order to put more of our resources where they matter most.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has copious studies on the positive economic impact of historic preservation to surrounding communities and states that historic preservation lends to an increase in jobs, property values, and dollars spent on heritage tourism, as well as a positive environmental impact, direct social impact through a sense of culture and place, and the increase in downtown revitalization. It's a great political move on any Town's part.
However, this project has to happen fast and with a fair bit of collaboration. We have put the word out to an extensive network of preservation-minded investors and are now working hard putting together an experienced team of professionals. It has the potential to be a wonderful investment project and we would be happy to share in the success if there are those who feel as passionate about preservation as we do. A public-private partnership with the Town might be one avenue considering the economic impact it will have through increasing the property value where it is placed, as well as the overall perception of the Town as a great place to live and do business. These are the kinds of projects that can give a community a sense of legacy and new founded spirit in hard economic times.