Prelude to Demolition

The following is a generic record of an historic structure’s slow decline; and ultimately, its final days.

- The still handsome property begins to suffer from a lack of timely maintenance

- Maintenance that is performed is substandard or inappropriate in quality, material and appearance with the result that the overall value of the property diminishes

- The diminishing value of the property continues both in terms of upkeep and in the mindset of the owner/caretaker

- The owner begins to despair under the seemingly incessant and ever-growing list of maintenance issues

- The owner privately capitulates and admits defeat – the property must be divested of either by sale or demolition

- For the benefit of stakeholders, the owner contrives excuses to justify the decision to divest: the building is suddenly financially too burdensome to repair, even with repair it is too expensive to operate, too old with outdated components, and even, unsafe

- If the property is a registered heritage property, an application to deregister is considered or even made

- Outrageous quotes for specific repairs that may require imminent action are recited before the few remaining unconvinced parties as a final means to justify demolition.

For preservationists, the final days are surreal.  They start to imagine the familiar landscape without the familiar.  A sense of urgency and despair motivate a few to explore options.  The owner, who has long ago said good bye, is unmoved by the irrational emotions of others.  History huggers don’t understand the business world.

Posted by Joe Feb 13, 2012 Posted in Built Heritage, Preservation Comments Off