Thursday, November 27, 2008

The House In The Street.

I have mentioned before I am a history buff. I believe in historical preservation, but I realize that not everything can be saved. It takes money to do so and since the money is limited you have to carefully weigh the projects and preserve those that are truly deserving. The house you see here is in Springfield, Illinois. The historical significance of it was built while Abraham Lincoln lived in Springfield, in fact he loaned the money for the house to be built. He loaned the man $650.

The previous owner of the house was the Springfield Clinic and they wanted to tear down the house to make room for parking. The house had not been occupied for several years and needed a lot of work. The was some outrage directed at the Clinic for wanting to tear it down. Of course those who were outraged did not have any specific plans for it, they just wanted the house saved. The Clinic agreed to give the house away. The city of Springfield kicked in a total of $115,000 to pay for the move and to demolish the house where this one would go to. The mayor also talked the Clinic into footing 60% of the cost of the move.

Everyone seemed to be happy. The house was saved. What wasn't known was the fact that no real plans had been made for the house other than moving it. You would think before a move like this was made you would have a foundation to put it on, but that wasn't the case. What are they going to do with the house? Good question. They want $2 million to renovate the house, which would come from a city redevelopment program. The mayor has asked the city council for another $822,000, but there is no plan on how that money will be spent. So far the city council has not approved anything other than the initial $115,000. The house is sitting part way in the street because there is no foundation to put it on.

Of course hind sight is always 20/20, but you would have thought for a project of this magnitude it would have been better planned. The move was planned well, but what happens next should have been. Why did the city not ask what the house is going to be used for before they approved the help? How much more money are they going to be asked for? It will be interesting to see what happens next.

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