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Council Gives $15,000 to Wells-Sherman House Effort

Friends of Kent Wells-Sherman House plan to relocate it to North Water Street

The Kent residents working to and save it from demolition cleared one of many obstacles to the effort Wednesday.

voted to spend $15,000 of city money to help relocate the house to the Friends of the Kent Wells-Sherman House have identified as the best viable option for the structure.

The vote, in committee, came after a 90 minute discussion about the proposal and whether the city has the time and resources to help with the effort.

Council voted 6-2 in favor of loaning $15,000 to the group, which indicated it would only accept the money if it can raise another $15,000 to match the effort.

Rick Hawksley, a Kent architect coordinating the relocation of the house, said they already have $6,000 pledged towards that matching $15,000.

"Our intention is not to come back to the city council for anything after tonight," Hawksley said Wednesday.

With council's cash support, Kent State University — which needs to move the house to build its Esplanade extension — has pledged providing up to $40,000 towards moving the house.

Getting cash support from the city is just one of several concerns about the move. The relocation project also needs variances from the Kent Board of Zoning Appeals to use the site on North Water Street and the overall site plan needs approval from the Kent Planning Commission. Both planning boards will vote on the issue later this month on June 18 and 19 respectively.

Another potential problem for the relocation is the fact the house may have to be moved before the zoning and planning boards take their votes given the tight time frame for construction of the Esplanade extension.

Despite the tight timing, Hawksley said they would move the house to the North Water Street site if necessary even before the planning and zoning boards take their votes.

Hawksley said he's confident both boards will support the plan.

An estimated break down of costs associated with the relocation and restoration is attached to this article along with the proposed site plan. To read more about its proposed use, .

Kent architect Doug Fuller, who is involved in desiging the Acorn Alley projects, spoke in favor of the project at Wednesday's meeting.

Fuller said all the new construction in downtown Kent is important but no more so than preserving the city's important existing structures.

"This house happens to be just an extraordinary example of not only architecture but of the history of the city of Kent," Fuller said. "For any one of those two reasons alone the building deserves to be saved."

Tina Puckett June 08, 2012 at 05:36 AM
Actually, on further thought, I've decided to post the paragraph as a reference just in case since I couldn't fit all of it and all of what I needed to express in my post: "If all of you are so up in arms about this, why did you not come to the City Council meeting last night to say so? If you can't bother to come and dialogue with us about it, then why are you kvetching about it here? This is neither the time nor the place to try to carry on any kind of civil dialogue over it. Besides, I believe that Rick Hawksley has already had opportunity to speak to Jeff ingram about this, so why not talk to Jeff about what they spoke about? Not as if our people haven't spoken to your people about it. So there you go." This is to what my post responds.
Cy June 08, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Sally, I can't help but feel as though you are YELLING at everyone. Couldn't it be said that you are a "nattering nabob of negativity" in the eyes of those who hold a different view? You are obviously passionate, but you feel your passion is the only one that's warranted. You seem to be irate because others don't place importance on what you hold hear...are you willing to see what others value as equally important? You keep reiterating historical facts as proof of the validity of your position, but when Lisa states facts about the worth of the current uses of the lot, you brush her off and tell her to get real? I think both sides have merit, but I can't help but feel as though your discourse is unreasonable.
Paxton Crenshaw June 08, 2012 at 01:17 PM
a sincere apology never contains the word "if" - try replacing "if" with the word "that". i suspect it's a little late to recommend charm school, but you get my drift...
Paxton Crenshaw June 08, 2012 at 02:02 PM
i hope the saying is true that "third time's the charm" (used when the third time one tries something, one achieves a successful outcome.)
Paxton Crenshaw June 08, 2012 at 02:21 PM
it is apparent that historic sayings have no worth either.

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