Saturday, February 4, 2023

Neighbors Appeal Shaw House Property Demolition

Shaw House at 1701 E. Jackson Ave.
Shaw House at 1701 E. Jackson Ave.

Neighbors William and Polina Wheeler are appealing the Historic Preservation Commission’s decision that approved demolition of four structures on the Shaw House property.
The appeal request will be heard Tuesday before the Board of Aldermen.
Once a construction site plan is approved, the commission’s decision allows developers to tear down a caretaker’s cottage, a modern duplex and a modern single-family home, and a concrete pad. The demolition work has been tabled several times, once before Historic Preservation and also before the Planning Commission.
The Shaw House, built in 1848, is unique because it’s one of the few antebellum homes left in town, and when built was used as a working farm.
A side view of Shaw House.
A side view of Shaw House.

Brian Development plans to build a dozen or more buildings on the property surrounding the Shaw House. In the appeal, the Wheelers state that developer Sid Brian presented a site plan to the Historic Preservation Commission that was denied a special exemption and won’t be built. The exemption would have allowed Brian to sell off the planned housing. An updated working site plan has not been created, according to the appeal, for presentation to the commission.
Among the other reasons listed in the appeal is the allegation that the developer misleadingly indicated that any delay in consideration of demolition would hold up the project. The developer has indicated that further holdups could endanger the possibility of preserving the Shaw House.
The Historic Preservation Ordinance does not allow demolition until the commission recommends a permit for construction, according to the appeal and language in Ordinance Section 54-26(4)(c).
Additionally, the appeal states that the commission paid too little attention to the historical importance of the caretaker’s cottage, the effect on neighboring properties and that it lacked discussion on several factors listed in the Historic Preservation Ordinance.
– Gretchen Stone, associate editor,,