Henry Raymond

Fairfax News => Current News & Events => Topic started by: Chris Santee on March 07, 2014, 07:43:00 AM

Title: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Chris Santee on March 07, 2014, 07:43:00 AM
For the record, I love the White House and always have.
As I return from a trip and head down Hunt Street,
it has represented "home".

However, the building is old and has served its purpose.
The school owns it and is interested in tearing it down.

Having been on the board at Habitat for Humanity,
I thought the two were a good fit.

At 1:00pm today, I will be showing the White House to Habitat.
I will report back to the school and to you.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Norton on March 07, 2014, 08:52:44 AM
For the record, I love the White House and always have.
As I return from a trip and head down Hunt Street,
it has represented "home".

However, the building is old and has served its purpose.
The school owns it and is interested in tearing it down.

Yes, the building is old.  Old is good.  Old is history.  Old defines Vermont's scenic villages, including Fairfax.

Has it served its purpose?  Its purpose is to be a home.  In the past it did that, and in the future it could, too.

It made sense to move the town office out.  The improvements necessary for it to continue as a public building would have cost too much.  But thatís totally different than the requirements for a private residence.  Why tear it down?  It could be sold to a family, thereby providing perhaps a quarter-million dollars to the school, plus four grand or so a year in property taxes.  There would be no demolition expense, and the town would retain one of the classic buildings that give our village its character.

The lot isnít useful for anything else.  Tear the building down and we would just have an empty lot to maintain.  Itís not big enough to provide any significant parking, even if the school wanted to incur the expense of paving and maintenance.

Of course the building needs work.  But look at it.  The roofline is straight, the roof and old clapboards are still in good shape (mostly), and the interior has the original woodwork.  Itís a nice house.  Why destroy it?
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: khort on March 07, 2014, 10:15:22 AM
I agree. Would be a shame to see it torn down. Why not put it on the market for a pre-determined amount of time & see what happens?!
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: rod anode on March 07, 2014, 12:50:46 PM
burn it ...ill bring the weenies
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: nhibbard on March 07, 2014, 01:30:00 PM
Well as the school owns it, bring it up to the school board. I don't see $250,000 with the amount of repairs that may be necessary to convert from offices to a home but any money is better than none. It might be a little odd though to put a house with residents right there but someone would take it I'm sure.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Chris Santee on March 07, 2014, 01:53:33 PM
I presented the idea of selling it privately and was shot down.
If more folks feel the same way, the board may think differently.

Habitat is very interested and will be back in touch with me.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: rod anode on March 07, 2014, 02:02:04 PM
handy will always buy it if no one else does
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Norton on March 08, 2014, 07:33:14 AM

Chris, was any reason given for not wanting to sell it?  Do they plan to do something else with the land?  Why pay someone to wreck it when someone else would pay us (our school) for it, plus paying property taxes on an ongoing basis?  Seems like an appropriate question, especially given the school funding struggles these days.

I don't know what it's worth, 250K was just a ballpark guess.  I don't think much would be required to convert from office to house, because it's always been a house.  It was designed to be a house.  Presumably anyone who bought it would probably renovate, but other than kitchen and bath you wouldn't need to do much.  The only really funky thing is the safe, but that could be kind of cool.  (soundproof man cave, anyone?)

It's a very desireable location, especially for a family.  Walking distance to most everything in town, 30 second commute to school for the kids (no road crossing required).

I think it would only seem odd for residents to be there if you think of it as an office.  For most of it's history, it has been a residence.  Many of us old-timers still think of it that way.

Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Rev. Elizabeth on March 08, 2014, 09:48:15 AM
I believe that mold was one of the major problems with the house, and resolving that could be quite expensive.  I am not an old timer, but the idea of tearing it down simply because we can't figure out what to do with it doesn't seem wise.  I know that there is a facilities committee and one of their primary tasks will be to discuss the fate of that house. 
Perhaps Habitat will have some ideas to share. Thanks Chris, for engaging them.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: tfence on March 08, 2014, 09:59:16 AM
The school should sell it for a dollar with terms it has to be moved and restored. It is a well built house. There must be some grants out there to preserve it. Just an option.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: nhibbard on March 08, 2014, 11:58:25 AM
That's a great idea to move it. I've seen a few of those. That would be neat.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Razzle Dazzle on March 08, 2014, 03:32:32 PM
Is the history of the house on-line somewhere? I'd kinda like to read it.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: 7F24 on March 08, 2014, 06:13:27 PM
  I can't imagine that being a private residence on the front lawn of the school, I think it could to turn into a real problem.  Is that building on it's own lot, or is it on one deed with the school?  I am in favor of preserving old buildings, but if the school can't use that one I'd rather see it go away.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Margie on March 08, 2014, 08:16:00 PM
It's no closer to the school than the Victorian on the other side.  I think there should be a way for that to become a residence without it being an issue to the school. 

I spent a great deal of time in the house over the years that different principals lived there - and memories of the local ladies cleaning and painting each time a new principal moved it.  I hate to imagine this house being torn down because it is "inconvenient".  We've become such a throw away society....
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: 7F24 on March 09, 2014, 09:08:19 AM
When the property was lived in, it was still owned by the school.  That meant you could not do anything you want to the place.  Someone buys it and gets tired of having kids walking all over their yard.  So they put up a chainlink or stockade fence to keep the kids out, and keep their pitbull's in.  Won't that look nice.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Razzle Dazzle on March 09, 2014, 09:34:07 AM
When the property was lived in, it was still owned by the school.  That meant you could not do anything you want to the place.  Someone buys it and gets tired of having kids walking all over their yard.  So they put up a chainlink or stockade fence to keep the kids out, and keep their pitbull's in.  Won't that look nice.

That sounds just like a conversation my wife and I had yesterday.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: woodstoves2 on March 09, 2014, 11:13:03 AM
A daycare center...health clinic...senior center...storage...
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: 7F24 on March 09, 2014, 11:16:08 AM
I believe anything commercial would require bringing the building up to state code....way too expensive.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: monte198 on March 09, 2014, 11:32:29 AM
I guess I am a bit confused about the building.  Yes it is part of the school, it has been used for classes, town offices and a residence.  But my question is that the historical value of the building, wouldn't this fall into historical preservation in both the state and local level, thus it wouldn't be able to be demolished or moved.  Rather restored in place and become part of the state historical venue similar to other buildings in town that have been preserved and cannot be demolished.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Ann on March 09, 2014, 12:53:47 PM
From what I understand the White House and property was deeded to the school for the purpose of education only and must always remain with the school.  It can not be sold for outside use other than an educational use.  Can the actual building be moved without jeopardizing the restriction in the deed?  That would be for an attorney to answer.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: mkr on March 10, 2014, 11:41:33 AM
Thanks Ann. I thought that was the case.
Title: Re: The White House & Habitat for Humanity
Post by: Chris Santee on March 11, 2014, 05:45:07 AM
I passed along all the "Save It" posts here prior to last night's meeting.

I believe they had wanted to keep it due to the value of land to the school,
but I was not rejected when I passed along the "Save It" requests.

Don't know about the "education only" use.
If we sell it and use the money for education...............???

Habitat is ready this Saturday.