UPDATE: Former Hillel Site Unlikely Location for Wells-Sherman House

Kent State has no immediate plans to swap or sell North Lincoln property

Editor's note: this story was updated at 1:54p.m.

The former site of the Hillel at Kent State University on North Lincoln Street may not be the premiere alternate site for the Kent Wells Sherman House some want it to be.

Jeff Ingram, director of Standing Rock Cultural Arts, suggested this week the vacant lot at 202 N. Lincoln St. would be a better fit for the historic Kent house than the space at 247 N. Water St. — next door to SRCA.

Ingram made the suggestion at Wednesday's Kent City Council meeting and suggested university officials might be willing to work with the city to use the land for the Kent Wells Sherman House.

Tom Euclide, Kent State’s associate vice president for Facilities Planning and Operations, said Ingram may have misconstrued an email conversation they had.

"We’re not making any deals with him or the Sherman House folks," Euclide said. "I told Jeff Ingram that the university is working solely with the city. The city has not asked us for any land. That’s not to say we wouldn’t entertain an invitation to be involved."

Euclide said the university would only entertain a request from the city — Kent State's partner in redeveloping part of downtown — to either sell the land or swap it for another piece of property and would not work directly with either non-profit organization on the issue.

Euclide added that the university has no plans to do either.

"We did not offer the land," he said. "We said we would entertain it if a request came. He took my encouraging words and turned them into a promise."

Ingram said Friday in an email that he understands the action would have to take place between the city and university.

"I in no way intended to suggest a deal between either SRCA and the University nor between KWSH and the university," Ingram said.

In a document distributed to council members Wednesday Ingram suggested the city swap or buy the land from the university and then donated it to KWSH. That document is attached to this article.

However, Kent City Council took no action on Ingram's request Wednesday and members of KWSH say there's not enough time before the Dec. 1 demolition deadline to secure the North Lincoln Street site in time to move the house from its temporary location on East College Avenue.

The movement of the house to 247 N. Water St. is all but a certainty, as the project already received approval from the Kent Board of Zoning Appeals, the Kent Architectural Review Board and the Kent Planning Commission.

Members of the Kent Wells Sherman House Inc. board have discounted the site as inappropriate for the house and strife with legal obstacles to such a move.

Ann Ward, a member of the KWSH board, said they never originally considered the North Lincoln Site because it's not in a commercial zoning district, which is what the house needs in order to have an upstairs business tenant.

She suggested the community accept the situation and move forward and that both Standing Rock and KWSH find a way to cooperate.

"The conflict between both of these non-profit organizations has taken its toll on many," Ward said.

Craig Neumann September 21, 2012 at 02:29 PM
"The movement of the house to 247 N. Water St. is all but a certainty, as the project already received approval from the Kent Board of Zoning Appeals, the Kent Architectural Review Board and the Kent Planning Commission." I thought the talks of Hillel site sounded fishy. Sounded like some forced wishful thinking to me.
The Omnipotent Sponge - Soak it up! September 21, 2012 at 04:49 PM
I've never hated a house until now.
William B Budner ESQ. September 21, 2012 at 06:25 PM
agreed, i literally hate this house. stupid house...
William B Budner ESQ. September 21, 2012 at 07:16 PM
it's sad paxton, really sad. i've tried to take sally to task on her talking points but she has nothing to back them up with. nada. but it's ok, i'm a bit busy at the office today brokering a land deal to replace a dumpy old house with a dunkin donuts.
Joseph Hughes September 21, 2012 at 07:38 PM
I really wish I had kept track of exactly how many times you've ENDED THE DISCUSSION. Also: How's the apartment search going?
Matt Fredmonsky September 21, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Comments were removed for violating Patch's terms of use. Please refrain from personal attacks and stick to the issues. http://kent.patch.com/terms
Resident of Kent September 21, 2012 at 07:51 PM
What happened to my post from yesterday? It didn't violate any terms of use,... & now I feel as if my view and comments don't matter diddly.
William B Budner ESQ. September 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
they don't here at patch...
Joseph Hughes September 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Ask yourself this, Kent: If Sally Burnell's angry commentary and Roger Thurman's public arrogance and KWSHI's all-too-cozy relationship with city government is any indication of how KWSHI functions as an organization, can you honestly expect things to magically run smoothly for the house once it moves? Allow me to gaze into the future: With the house languishing in a state of always-in-progress-but-never-doneness on the greenspace, KWSHI is going to find redevelopment-friendly local bankers far less willing to ride in their sidecar than they may appear now. When the time comes for that part of the street to look like Acorn Alley, I guarantee you they're not going to want that money pit as the anchor tenant. And when KWSHI reaches out locally looking for a helping hand, they'll be surprised to realize how many people remember how shabbily they treated their peers.
Matt Fredmonsky September 21, 2012 at 07:53 PM
We may not always meet our goal, but our goal is to facilitate constructive discussions about issues in Kent. Readers who have read our terms of use know that if they post a personal attack in our comment threads those posts are subject to removal, and that's what's been done here. I've removed the personal attacks. If you'd like to write a letter to the Patch editor voicing your opinion about our policies I'd be happy to publish it — all that's required is that you sign your real name to it. Thanks for reading!
William B Budner ESQ. September 21, 2012 at 07:55 PM
how do you verify real names? do you live in kent?
Matt Fredmonsky September 21, 2012 at 07:57 PM
A traditional letter to the editor includes address and personal phone number, which we do not publish but use for verification purposes only. http://kent.patch.com/articles/kent-patch-wants-to-hear-from-you
William B Budner ESQ. September 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM
so you don't live in kent then? didn't think so... i can provide you with both an address and a personal phone number. you will still never know who i am, and that's an ineffective way of verifying identity matt.
Paxton Crenshaw September 21, 2012 at 08:42 PM
of course that's all he cares about because without it, he'd have no traffic whatsoever (which is one word, like "fingerprints" - keep up the good work, matt). and what's this "traditional letter to the editor" stuff? please... next year this site won't exist.
Fred Pierre September 21, 2012 at 09:03 PM
Guys, guys - if you don't like the site, you don't have to spend the day here. Maybe the public commenting can be polarizing at times, and not always productive, but Matt is covering local news with a focus like no other news organization, and he is trying hard to keep his personal opinions out of the mix, and present balanced coverage. The site has been around for a while, and unless someone comes up with a better place to promote local culture, I suspect it will be here for quite a while. Don't be a hater - if you don't like it, try an AOL chat room or something...
Kaye Spector (Editor) September 21, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Comments deleted here. Please, no personal attacks. Thanks.
Kaye Spector (Editor) September 21, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Thanks, Fred, for your comment.
Balertwine September 21, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Very well put, Joseph. Too bad this house is rather ordinary looking. If it was a log cabin that Abraham Kent lived in in 1801, maybe someone would want to stick it in a city park. As it is, it's an old house that's seen plenty of frat parties over the years that destroyed a lot of the original woodwork, and its history isn't all that exciting. The interesting architectural aspects are for the most part hidden in the walls, the basement, and the attic. Compare it to the Robin Hood they tore down last year, and your average Kent citizen would have voted to save the Robin Hood Inn, not this residential house. So in addition to the dirty politics and strife you mentioned, this just isn't Monticello, and it doesn't look like a pioneer house, it looks like an ordinary old house, and will still look fairly ordinary if it's ever restored. It's... boring.
Resident of Kent September 21, 2012 at 10:06 PM
This is what I posted yesterday, which for some reason was deemed as a "personal attack",.. or perhaps the more realistic scenario is this: it was lumped into the rest and sent to the trash bin. Anywho, here goes! - Another sad truth is this; less than a year down the road or within 6 months or so after the move is finalized and things start to look satisfactory to the "new neighbors" (ie: WS House..) their lawyers (which by the way have already surveyed the Cultural Arts bldg...) will demand that the property owner make the much-needed repairs to the building or it will be demolished.. Hhmmm... if the LL then is who it is now, he will see the $ signs dancing in his head for the land... and the WSH owners will then have a nice, large parking lot all to themselves. Who here agrees with me ?!?
Misty Jones September 22, 2012 at 12:06 AM
It seems like if KWSH would stop playing a blame game and put some answers in the media and on their website they could get out info and prevent misinfo, rumors, guesses, and criticisms. There's a thought.
Misty Jones September 22, 2012 at 12:36 AM
It's on yesterday's article. This is a new article.
Traci Monroe September 22, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I was on their website and found it quite informative, what blame game are they playing, there is plenty of info out there.
Misty Jones September 22, 2012 at 01:46 AM
What is this talk about KSU paying for leveling the land? No one even said that. How long did it take for KWSH to go through the process before? Four months from scratch with dissenters pushing against them the whole way? There's time. There'd be more time if KWSH looked around when the house was given more deadline.
Misty Jones September 22, 2012 at 01:52 AM
I'm glad you did. I read it and saw "run by private individuals and the decision making process is not a matter of transparency or opaqueness." I still don't know the actual committed uses, how they plan to pay for all of it, or who will staff it. I don't see any rental fees for the public and private groups. I see discrepancies with the university statement and this sounds like part of the blame game: "While our efforts have been met with resistance and personal attacks, we too have been less than civil."
Pax Crenshaw September 22, 2012 at 01:58 AM
here's your chance, matt, to show us what you've got as a journalist. an in-depth examination of this entire affair would be a great read and fun to write. meet with and explore the personalities/players from both sides (hawksely, burnell, ingram), interview council members, townies, etc. ask not only the right questions, but also ask tough questions, and then get the facts. you could really put together a thorough and unbiased article that reads less like a newsbite or propaganda piece and more like something you'd read in vanity fair or playboy. step it up a bit! a few well-researched stories each week would do way more for your site, our community (and probably readership) than an article on "football anthems that get you pumped". ish.
William B Budner IV ESQ. September 22, 2012 at 02:02 AM
Sue September 23, 2012 at 10:44 AM
Thanks to Fred Pierre for urging folks to be civil and for supporting Matt in his effort to promote open and productive discussion.


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