The oldest building in Macedonia may soon be nothing but a pile of rubble.
Longwood Manor, the 84-year-old former home of Colonel William F. Long, could face the wrecking ball any time now. Long was the first mayor of Macedonia. City officials have produced an estimate for repairs on the "structurally unsound" house: $500,000. The house was deemed unsuitable for living "several years ago".
"We would like to have a historical marker like this. How do you do that when you are $227,000 in debt?" asked Mayor Don Kuchta. Demolition costs would roughly amount to $34,000, not including asbestos removal.
The house is located on 292 acres, known as Longwood Park, donated to the city through Long's will. According to the city, the will only states that the land be used for public purposes... it mentions nothing about the house.
On March 12th, the house was quietly condemned. Longwood Manor Historical Society wasn't told they only had 10 days to appeal the declaration. If a half-million dollars isn't put into escrow by September 12th, Longwood Manor will be leveled.
I have been inside this house within the last few years for an overnight ghost hunt. The preservation society has done wonders rehabilitating the home and giving it a facelift. Restoration efforts have been slow, but what little funding they have received has gone immediately into supplies for repairs. All labor has been on a volunteer basis. If this property is "condemned", I would hate to see how many other structures in the city would also qualify. They're not important enough to touch, apparently.
I can't help but wonder about the ulterior motives. Construction companies have a close-knit relationship with the city and have a habit of ending up on the payroll. Macedonia already bulldozed the old high school to the ground. The century-old railroad bridge is in the process of being eliminated. History is quickly becoming a thing of the past in the city.
But would you honestly expect a town to care when their oldest building was only built in 1924?