Friday, January 6, 2017

Another Historic Fairhope Home Demolished

Fairhope, Alabama

118 Fairhope Avenue before demolition ... .

... after demolition


A 106 year old Fairhope Avenue house that appears on a historically significant list compiled by the city's Preservation Committee was demolished recently: property owners are Matthew Aubrey and Leslie Skinner according to online county public records. (It was previously owned by Ruth Tillman.)

The two story home was constructed of an ornamental concrete block produced and used extensively by early home builders here.

Measures proposed by the committee to provide financial (tax breaks, grants, etc.) and other incentives to preserve such structures have failed to be enacted by a succession of city councils: another one is pending now.

No plans have been announced for the now-vacant lot, which is zoned B-2 for general commercial business.

2015 Survey:


Suzanne S Barnhill said...

I took some photos of this house in early November. It had been gutted and the roof laid bare to the rafters, but I thought it was being renovated. There was a "building permit" (not a demolition permit) in the front yard.

Anonymous said...

IF this was in a historical district that was designated by Federal Historical Society, or if Fairhope requested the area to be designated a historical district by the Federal Historical Society someone could be in big trouble.

The government could 'claw back' grants that have been granted to those designated areas. The city needs to know these issues and get a handle on this.

I am not trying to say there is a violation but who knows. I have seen a lawsuit that was filed because a home was built in a historical district that was too large, neighbors filed a suit and a federal judge required the homeowner to demolish the home.

Anonymous said...

A property owner should contact the State historic preservation office (SHPO.) The SHPO is the state agency that oversees historic preservation efforts in their state. There may be state or local preservation laws that they should be aware of before they undertake a project with a historic property.

You can find contact information for the SHPOs at:

Publisher said...

There was nothing illegal about the demolition to our knowledge, well within the property owner's right's: but it is by no means the first of it's kind to be demolished in one of the city's historic districts ... or the last for that matter.

Anonymous said...

That is a shame!

Fairhope wants to be this historic downtown then it should form a historical preservation society. There Alabama and Federal tax credits to individuals that register their homes.

It's a damn shame to demolish these homes.

roger said...

If the new mayor and council are really serious about promoting tourism a good place to start would be to stop the destruction of the remnants of the city's history and heritage.

Anonymous said...

What the majority of people FAIL to understand with the renovation of older homes is the cost.ALL items in the home have to be brought up to code to comply with current applications.Windows and doors are requires to be impact wind rated.Sorry can't reuse the old windows.Then there is the home owner wanting to do as little as possible or change the structure to the lot line.The home described above ,is in the now fire district.In order to renovate with current costs,lack of qualified contractors to actually remodel with have dwindled to very few.Planning and zoning is also an issue,especially with in the tree ordinances witch restrict lot use in some areas,even if the city chooses NOT to enforce the actual code in order to accommodate a root system.Now the DOBBS ACT required specific code requirements in commercial applications.So if you want to live in Fairhope,the costs are increasing to the point that soon it will be house to driveway house to driveway,as the new over rides the old.SO many come here and want what they had at home , fail to research the cost as they use a shoestring budget.So don't blame the new mayor,blame those who consider it fun to drop a few bucks on a new lot.So many snow birds so little freezer space.

Anonymous said...

Look around people, all of fairhope has changed very much and is way past saving as it was.

Anonymous said...

May be our Wonder Woman mayor can finally get something done where all others have failed! ;)

Hank said...

Just when I lost some hope, here comes Roger. He gets it. Thank you for seeing the real issue at hand.

Anonymous said...

Let's be careful before we pass too much judgement. Many people in our community know, love and respect the property owners. While it's painful to see an old and attractive home demolished, I'm confident, at least in this case, that the decision to (lawfully) demolish rather than renovate was reached with great consideration and planning. I'm also certain that future plans for the property will be an improvement as well as a reflection of the uniqueness and charm of our area. Can't wait to see what they have in store for their property.