Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Carleton Island Villa: Will it ever be saved and can we learn anything from it?

Carleton Island Villa is well known to those of us in preservation. It sits vacant for 60 plus years and is slowly but surely falls apart, a little more each year. I have been following this house for years. Oh its for sale, for 495K, It was 695 a few years ago and one wonder how low it will go though essentially it is priced at the value of the land it sits on.. The villa was a summer home, something I relate to since our own cottage started out life as a weekend/summer place. While the weekend cottages in Knox Hill wree built by the weathy, this villa was built by the super wealthy. Its size and granduer and original attention to detail that now prevent it from restoration.

There are tradesman capable but assembling so many would be cost prohibited.. It sits on Point of Carleton Island consisting of 6.9 acres in the state of New York. It is beyond 'restoration', as it sits now it would be more along the line of recreation or reproduction. One would have to rely on old photos to know what it looked like and the costs of 'rebuilding' in todays dollars would be astronomical.

To see more of its history you can look here: http://www.thecarletonislandvilla.com/history.htm

I am sure many of you are astounded at how this once grand home fell into disrepair. Its an illustration of how hindsight is always 20/20. We can look back at what we have already lost in Cincinnati. and we say what were we thinking?  Half of OTR, Kenyan Barr, Most of Corryville, most of the west end. If we dont stop it the entire South Fairmount business/residential basin for a glorified drainage ditch. Little by little , pieces of our history are being demolished everyday. There are FIVE THOUSAND properties on our city VBML/Condemn list. Ask yourself how the loss of 5000 properties will effect the historic character of our community. Remember hindsight is ALWAYS 20/20

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