The Sandwich Historic District Committee this week happily removed a historic home from the list of properties slated for demolition.
“We’ve had an email from the applicant asking to withdraw the application for a demolition permit for 25 Water Street,” said HDC chairwoman Mary E. Foley. “The house has been sold and is going to be renovated.”
Ms. Foley smiled and asked for a roll call vote on the matter, which took about a minute and was unanimous.
“That was the easiest item on the agenda. It’s wonderful news,” Ms. Foley said.
The vote was the first official announcement from a town board that the Water Street home, which was on the verge of destruction, had been rescued.
“The property could have gone either way—saved or demolished,” said Greg Donahue, the realtor for previous owners Gerard and Sally Antonellis, who had listed the property for three years with no offers.
The Antonellises lowered the price a few times and finally, when no one stepped forward, sought a demolition permit from the HDC hoping the 1.2-acre, tree-lined property by itself would be more tempting.
About two weeks ago, after the home was toured by preservationists and described in a newspaper story, a buyer stepped forward and made an offer on the historic shingled structure.
Mr. Donahue said this week that the buyer does not yet want to be identified, but she indeed has plans to save the place.
“She is going to restore the home and is looking to add some dormers in the back to open it up. She has been given the names of all the people who could help,” Mr. Donahue said. “She prefers to remain nameless but said, ‘I plan to restore. I’m submitting plans to historic [HDC] on Tuesday. Moving forward.’ ”
The house had been in the news earlier this year after members of the town’s two historic boards joined forces to try to save the house from the wrecking ball.
The groups brought in a preservation expert who toured the home and determined that the house was sound, full of original materials dating back to 1790-1810—including original glass in the first- and second-story windows—and should be preserved.
Members of the Sandwich Historic District Committee members researched the property last year through the town archives and the National Register of Historic Places and found it to be historically significant.
Mr. Donahue reiterated this week that his clients, the Antonellises, are delighted by the outcome.
Mr. Donahue, too, said he loves the story’s happy ending.
“This little humble structure is going to get the respect it deserves,” he said.