Historic house move to new home

May 18, 2008 9:15:34 PM PDT
There is a new address for an historic house, in such bad shape that nobody would buy it.

Moving a house always attracts attention, but the move represents a big win for Durham preservationists.

"It feels really good, because there are so many families that have lived in this house, from mill workers to supervisors," said John Schelp with the Old West Durham Neighborhood Association.

It is the dilapidated house from 1704 Markham Ave., across from Duke's campus.

"It's the blue collar workers in the factories and mills that built this town. And the more we preserve of its history, the more we save the stories that are in these houses, the better it is for Durham," Schelp said.

Schelp is one of the people who convinced the former owner to give the house away when it wouldn't sell; as Eyewitness News reported back in January.

"ABC 11 really helped put out the word. Got a lot of inquiries," Schelp said. "And [we] finally settled on John Martin, who's going to move it to Old West Durham."

Martin says the reason he is taking on the challenge is because the house is part of Durham's past and present.

"It seems a shame to just send it to a landfill when it could continue to be a great house for another hundred years," he said.

"It says that they value what we've got. It looks like trash now, but it's going to look really, really good," New Neighbor, Charlie Delmar said.

"When we're all done, done everything, had it renovated, then I'll have more value in the house than I've actually spent. So that's great," Martin said.

Once the house is fixed up, Martin says he plans on living there.


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