According to the Kennebec Journal, an historic carriage house designed by John Calvin Stevens at 18 Dennis Street in Gardiner, Maine is in imminent danger of demolition:
Councilors on Wednesday will deal with real estate issues, including a dangerous building and the sale of a historic house foreclosed on by the city for back taxes.
Terance Christopherson and Lisa Hicks of Sunrise Business Solutions made a bid in July on the former carriage house built in 1903 at 18 Dennis St.
They offered to buy the building for $10,000 and demolish the structure and merge the lot with property at 22 Dennis St. The demolition costs is estimated to be between $27,000 and $29,500.
The building, which has been assessed at $200,000 and has fallen into disrepair. It was designed by noted Portland architect John Calvin Stevens and was part of the Frank E. Boston estate. Boston was a founder of the Gardiner General Hospital and general manager of Hollingsworth & Whitney Paper Co., which was bought by Scott Paper Co. in 1954.
Christopherson said merging the two lots should increase the market value and desirability of all the properties on Dennis Street.
“On Dennis Street, the bidder made an offer of $10,000 to demo the building and combine the lot with one they own next to it,” said City Manager Scott Morelli Thursday. “The council accepted with two conditions — that the new lot not be used for a multi-family home and a timeline be established for demolition. The bidder will not agree to a timeline so the council is going to consider whether they want to proceed with a lot sale or seek other options.”
While the push for demolition seems to be on hold, the home’s description from Gardiner’s Request for Proposals (dated July 15, 2011) would suggest finding alternative uses would be a much better option:
The property is a two-story, converted carriage house that was built in 1903 as part of an estate. The carriage house was built in a “shingle style” as designed by noted architect John Calvin Stevens. It contains approximately 13 rooms and 4,735 square feet living space. The lot is approximately .51acres in a high density residentially zoned area.
However, Gardiner has commissioned a structural inspection report (pdf) by Ferguson Consulting Engineers that found serious issues with the house, especially the foundation. The study estimates the cost of necessary repairs at a jaw-dropping $192,000–and that’s just to stabilize the house, not the full cost of restoration.
Realistically, the state of the housing market in Gardiner does not justify dropping that kind of coin on a house that far gone. Yet, the last time we checked, John Calvin Stevens isn’t designing any more homes . . . so, on the other hand, you gotta keep what you got.
Also, don’t forget to peruse our picture gallery of downtown Gardiner, Maine. And our next blog post that we are working will have some good news, stay tuned 🙂
Here is a view of the home in Google Maps: