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Fight to save city, Trumbull history

DEAR EDITOR:

I was distressed to hear the owner of the Packard Flats building and Julia Harsh house on North Park Avenue has applied to demolish the Harsh house. This is a historic home and, until recently, apparently still was in original condition, even though it was divided into apartments years ago.

Warren and Trumbull County lost four historic buildings in the past month or so.

Many of us have been watching the progress, or lack thereof, of the Packard Flats building at the northeast corner of Mahoning Avenue and Porter Street. This is the house J.W. Packard built for his family in 1903. Many wealthy families of Warren lived here to get away from upkeep of large mansions.

This was the home of Julia Harsh, part of a founding family in Warren. This home was recognized as one of the most beautiful homes in the country, noted in the 1896 edition of the Building Age, a well-regarded national publication for the building and construction industry at the time.

The flats building is owned by 312 North Second Street LLC, a limited liability corporation set up by Steve Coon of Louisville.

The city refused to award a demolition permit for what we now know as the Woods house on Mahoning Avenue, a historic home. It took a few years, but it is now a beautiful home. According to WRAP’s website, “Demolition by neglect is not an acceptable reason to apply for a COA (Certificate of Appropriateness).”

The home in question was purchased in 2014 for $35,000. The tenants were evicted, and it was left empty. I would consider that neglect. Andy Gray’s recent Tribune Chronicle article stated the home had been gutted, and that was the reason for the demo.

I would like to know when the Design Review Board met, what the decision was and how they came to that conclusion. I am tired of losing our history. Let’s at least do what we can to save this one.

Warren has paid at least three times to have studies done, and each one suggests to save our historic buildings and neighborhoods. A committee was appointed years ago to work on this. Decades later, we are still in the same place, if not worse.

Hiring someone educated and knowledgeable in historic preservation and planning would go a long way in saving our history. Here is something we can do. Call 330-841-2566 to tell the Warren Redevelopment and Planning office to save this home.

CINDEE MINES

Champion

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