Standing Rock Offers Alternate Site for Kent Wells Sherman House

Arts group pleads with city council to consider working with Kent State to use lot at 202 N. Lincoln St.

The director of Standing Rock Cultural Arts made one last push Wednesday to try and stop the relocation of a historic Kent house to greenspace adjacent to the arts group's gallery.

Jeff Ingram, director of the SCRA, urged members of Kent City Council to stop the relocation of the Kent Wells-Sherman House to the lot at 247 N. Water St.

Ingram asked council to consider an alternate site for the historic house, which already has the necessary approval from several city commissions to be moved to the space next to the North Water Street Gallery.

He suggested the house be moved to the vacant lot at 202 N. Lincoln St., which is owned by Kent State University and was formerly home to Hillel at Kent State.

"North Lincoln over North Water has many benefits," Ingram said.

Ingram pointed to the lot's level grade as a potential cost savings, as the non-profit group working to save the house, Kent Wells Sherman House Inc., must move dirt to grade the lot on North Water Street so the house will sit level.

Members of Kent Wells Sherman House Inc. estimate initial site work and the cost for a new foundation will be $30,500, according to the group's redevelopment budget.

Ingram said he talked with university officials, who said they have no plans for the lot and would be willing to donate it to the city. If the city would then donate it to the Kent Wells Sherman House Inc., that would save the group the $21,000 cost to buy the lot on North Water Street, Ingram said.

The house at the lot was razed in May 2011.

"There’s also on-site parking available," Ingram said. "It’s a better fit on North Lincoln."

Members of the Kent Wells Sherman House board of directors disagree.

Roger Thurman, vice president of the Kent Wells Sherman House Inc. board, said that one part of this story that often is lost in reports is that of the non-profit board and what it's members want for the house — a location in the historic downtown district where it's sure to garner lots of exposure.

He disagreed with Ingram that the North Lincoln site would see lots of foot traffic. The group reviewed about a dozen possible sites for the house before settling on the spot next to the gallery.

"We prefer the North Water Street site," Thurman said.

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.

"We are planning to move ahead to locate the house to 247 N. Water St. where the project has received approval from the board of zoning appeals, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"kent-wells-sherman-house-relocation-edges-closer-to-reality"} -->, the and

Misty Jones September 22, 2012 at 01:41 AM
“Kent State is giving the house to the city of Kent and not the Kent Wells Sherman House preservation group, and therefore, the university would only entertain the idea of using the 202 N. Lincoln St. property if approached by the city,” said Emily Vincent, director of university media relations. “Even then, the university would not donate the land, rather, it would have to be purchased or traded.” http://kentwired.com/standing-rock-cultural-arts-still-fighting-to-save-green-space/
Misty Jones September 22, 2012 at 01:42 AM
City funds are pending a $15,000 match. If that has not been raised how will $100,000 of planned initial restoration be paid?
Pax Crenshaw September 22, 2012 at 01:57 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.
Sue September 22, 2012 at 11:59 AM
William, please stop taunting and insulting Sally. You seem more interested in putting her down with snide comments than with actually learning anything. Please act like a grownup. Others here have been polite.
Sue September 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM
Maybe we can show President Obama the Wells Sherman House, so he can see that Kent values historic preservation. Just because one patch of land will be used for something new does not mean that Kent does not value arts education or green space or food producing gardens. It's just one patch of land. It's not a large food-producing community garden. There is plenty of green space in and around Kent. SRCA can continue to do arts education. They are not the only ones doing this in Kent anyway. I think SRCA and others should let this go and adjust to the change. I support President Obama. I support green space. I support community activites for children. I also support moving the Wells Sherman House to the site on North Water Street. Many people in Kent agree with me.


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