Historic house gets demolition reprieve

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The Wilson City Council originally planned to order the demolition of the Charles W. Gold house on Thursday, but an eleventh-hour deal shows hope that the historic property will be restored to its former grandeur.

Chief Planning and Development Officer Rodger Lentz said Preservation of Wilson found a Vermont man who had previously restored a house in Stantonsburg and was interested in the historic home at 300 Vance St. The man reportedly agreed to start renovating the exterior in mid-November when he returns to the area.

“We’ve had conversations with the prospective buyer who has agreed to a June 2020 deadline for outside repairs to fix the holes in the porch and the roof,” Lentz said. “After that time, he’d begin inside repairs to get it livable again.”

Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Chip Futrell was at Thursday’s city council meeting to request a continuance of the demolition order but was pleased by the progress to save the home.

“I don’t know if you are aware or not, but demolition matters of historic properties are not vetted by the commission,” Futrell said. “Based on city rules, they don’t have to be, but I’d like to request a change to the rules so that if a demolition is considered, it is vetted by the commission you’ve appointed.”

The council did not take any action to consider the change.

Also at the meeting, no one spoke during a public hearing before the council agreed to apply for $750,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for Pamlico Air. The air filtration manufacturer plans to invest more than $10 million in renovating 4841 Lamm Road and create 305 jobs in the process.

The council approved a $1,620,000 contract with H.G. Reynolds Co. for construction on the Gig East Exchange. The winning bid came in roughly $40,000 cheaper than the only other contractor to apply for the project that is largely funded by a Golden Leaf Foundation grant.