"We have only been hired to sell the personal effects and contents of the home. I agree that the home is beautiful and I have inquired as to the reasoning behind changing and "updating" so much of the home. The owner only replied that he intended to modernize the home and to make it more energy efficient by replacing the windows with modern, as well, he explained that due to the old wiring, many walls and floors were going to have to be severely damaged and/or removed, and because he is intending to "update" the home, he thought there would be buyers that have historic homes that could use these items, or people who would like to add historic architecture to a new structure. We agreed to show photos and to promote his wishes on the attached items and architecture. Anyone who wishes to purchase them items are dealing directly with the owner. I am only hoping that whoever purchases the architecture will enjoy it for years to come"
That being said. Auction Houses routinely deal with historic property. Any auction house KNOWS that removal of historic detail adversely affects the value of historic property. Many reputable Auction Houses now refuse to sell or assist in the sale of salvage items. Our policy as a antiques dealer and restoration consultants has been that we will not buy or sell architectural salvage UNLESS we know it is legitimately obtained and that it is only made available as a result of a historic structure being demolished for legitimate reason. I will not buy ANYTHING from an antique dealer or auction house unless they can document how they obtained it.
I sent an Email to Margo Warminski at Preservation, (who originally told me about it) suggesting she try to arrange a meeting with the property owner to explain he has other options that do not involve destroying this house.
So lets talk about "Updating this house". Replacement windows are the biggest SCAM out there and the most inefficient way to save money on an energy bill. These windows run several hundred dollars each including installation. They are not "maintenance free" either. These windows claim to have 20 yr life span, however failures of seal;s typically occur with 7-8 years. They areroutinly improperly installed and leak water into the walls.
Look at the R-value of the glass itself. Single pane glass gives you an R-value of 0.89. Two panes of glass equal to R-value of 1.78. You would also add a little for the gas that is found in insulated glass. As you can see by the numbers, glass in and of itself is not insulating at all. The PROBLEM with insulated windows in an old house is that they trap moisture inside the house. We are now seeing some data that suggests that overly "tight" homes may have a higher incidence of Black mold, help contain higher levels of Radon gas inside the house and prevent "outgasses" material from say plastics in a house from exiting the structure. A far better use of monies is a newer high efficiency furnace, insulating ductwork in basement or attic insulation. If one "insists' on greater efficiency there are magnetic storms that can be placed on historic windows that do not destroy the architectural value of a historic property.
Electrical Upgrades: Any competent electrical contractor will "fish' wiring or create minimally invasive "chases" in key locations to run wiring. In fact may things such as Internet, smoke alarm and intercoms are now run wirelessly , eliminating the need to run wiring. So the argument that major parts of this home will need to be destroyed is not correct.
So either the property owner is being deliberately misinformed by a "hack contractor" , OR, there is some "hidden agenda" for this property such as conversion for nursing home use or offices.
This brings the larger question. Why do we not have more restrictive preservation ordinances or districts within the city. Clearly areas like North Avondale, Dayton Street, Walnut hills and others need regulation to prevent the changing of windows and facades on historic structures.