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Neglected adobe-style historic home sold

Historic Commission says condition beyond repair

Posted: January 4, 2014 - 6:42pm

A Century 21 real estate sign recently appeared in the yard of the adobe-style home at 1708 Caldwell St.

According to the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the three bedroom, one bath, 2,362 sq. ft. Spanish Colonial Revival Style home was built circa 1926.

The home has a chimney that is falling away from the house, rotten trim around windows and doors and stucco peeling away from the exterior walls.

In addition to structural damage, according to County Assessor records, the house also suffered a fire and the interior is stripped to the studs.

Steve Hurd, AIA and chairman of the Conway Historic District Commission, said the condition of this home and others like it is because of homeowners’ neglect.

January 2012, the Conway Historic District Commission evaluated the property for potential demolition by neglect, but the people interested in buying the property at the time, Kathy and Ken Brents, did not pursue the purchase, and the house remained vacant.

Conway developer George Covington Sr., president of Covington Companies and Historic District Commission member, said there’s not a lot there that would not have to be replaced.

“If a new house costs you $100 a square foot, this would probably cost $125,” he said. “You’d spend $25 more just cleaning up before redoing it.”

The adobe-style home is an example of “economic hardship” as laid out in the Historic District Guidelines “where no reasonable return on or use of the building exists.”

Hurd said it is an unfortunate situation when one of the Historic District’s historic homes is beyond repair, but he still has hope that someone may fix it up.

Sales history on ARCountyData.com shows Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. foreclosed on the property owned by Walter and Stacie Harrison in November for $65,279.

Realtor Sherry Atkinson of Century 21 Dunaway & Hart, Inc., said the foreclosure sold for $15,101 on Friday. Realtor Reed Weaver of Century 21 Dunaway & Hart, Inc., is the realtor selling the property.

The home is listed on the Century 21 site as a pending sale for $14,900. Reed could not be reached for comment by press time Friday.

The Faulkner County Property Assessor and Circuit Clerk said since the property sold Friday, the deed is most likely still with the attorney who oversaw the transaction.

Bryan Patrick, coordinator of the Historic District Commission and director of planning and development for the City of Conway, said if someone came before the commission today, the commission would most likely grant a Certificate of Appropriateness for demolition since the property has already been evaluated.

Hurd said losing a home is painful - period - because it is the Historic District Commission’s job to maintain the integrity of the historic neighborhood, but the home at 1708 Caldwell St. is particularly upsetting because it is the only example of that style architecture in the district.

If the property is demolished, Hurd said, the commission will salvage as many historic pieces as it can such as doors and windows.

“It helps to have original bits and pieces,” he said, “It started and will most likely end with neglect, but this could have been avoided.”

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at michelle.corbet@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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