Victorian home in Vistula saved, owners taking proposals

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Neighbors normally call for old, vacant homes to be torn down, but the story is quite different for one Victorian home in the Vistula Historic District.

In fact, neighbors hope to give it a second life.

They call the home "the Blue House." It was built in 1900 by Doctor Clarke, a prominent citizen of Toledo at the time.

However over the years, the more than a century old home on North Superior Street began to show its age. Paint began to peel, and windows were boarded up.

"The house was not moth-balled properly and received a lot of damage from weather," said Terry Glazer, CEO of United North.

The property's owner is located next door. The Aurora Project initially planned to demolish the house. Denise Fox, the Aurora Project's executive director, said they had a vision for the property.

"What we had planned on was creating kind of a more campus-like environment, creating green space," Fox said.

What the Aurora Project did not expect was that the neighborhood did not want the historic structure to go.

"It was the passion of the neighbors here that really stopped the demolition process because they were really upset about one more historic building in this neighborhood being torn down," said Richard Martinez, chairman of the Historic Vistula Foundation.

Fox and others with the Aurora Project listened to what the neighbors had to say and agreed to stop the demolition of the 5,000 square foot home. They have now put out a request for proposals. They will take them until November.

"If you start tearing down the history of the city, you take away what's unique to Toledo," Glazer said.

A committee has been made up of members of the Vistula Foundation and the Aurora Project. They hope to select a proposal by the end of the year. The committee has not made a decision about what they will do if they do not make an acceptable proposal.

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