Featured, History, Seward History

Historic homes demolished

A  home on the Seward Historic Register at 420 Third Ave was demolished today.

The original intent of the new owners was to preserve the almost 100-year old historic stucco home exterior and completely renovate the interior.

However, as is often the case with older homes, serious problems surfaced from the failing foundation to the uninsulated walls to the multiple leaking roofs as the interior was investigated and gutted. Finally, after months of work to save it and much deliberation, the family decided it was not financially feasible to save the structure. In a matter of hours, the house and debris were gone, leaving the site clean and ready for a fresh start.

The former Werner-Herbert home  was famous for its Seahawk “Green and Gold” fall colors of the Norway Maple tree that was purchased from a Sears catalog and planted in the late 1930s. Thanks to the expert work by Metco excavator operator Tom Gillespie, that maple and the other trees on the lot remain unharmed. 

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Two weeks ago, another older home from the ’20s on Second Ave disappeared less than a few hours as well. The equipment operator, Isaac Elhard of Ascension Construction Services, pointed out a sturdy stump that was used as part of the foundation. It looked to be in pretty good shape, protected from the weather, tucked under the house. He also noted the strength of the stucco siding done by master craftsman Stucco Johnson.  Old house problems, however, were evident: bad foundation, poor or no insulation, and old plumbing and wiring. It reached the point when a home turns into a scraper.

It will be interesting to watch the new structures go up, writing another page in Seward’s history.

Carol Griswold

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