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Commission OKs Enfield house demolition

Monday, June 2, 2008 by Austin Monitor

The Historic Landmark Commission has voted unanimously to release a partial demolition permit for the home at 1115 Enfield, known as the Shropshire-Armacost House, allowing the purchaser of the home to take down a majority of the structure while leaving the front façade and part of the roof in place.


That arrangement will allow the property owner to remodel and expand the structure in the back while maintaining the historic characteristics of the structure visible from the street. “I think this is the best-case scenario for both parties, and I want to commend the applicant because we don’t always have applicants who are willing to look at other options,” said Commissioner Joe Arriaga.


The HLC’s decision specifically calls for a terrace on the home to be maintained, and the applicant will have to return to the HLC with his plans for the remodeling and new construction. At one point, members of the commission urged him to request a postponement of the case and return with more specific plans.


But property owner Keith Adams could not agree to that. “I’ve already spent $10,000 on engineering fees. Just to keep spending money is kind of fruitless,” Adams said. “That’s not a good thing for me.”

The case had come before the HLC when Adams, who has plans to buy the home from the family that has owned it since the early 1980s, filed for a demolition permit. He cited the deterioration of the inside of the home. Neighborhood groups had objected to the permit. “We’re willing to work with the neighborhood association to keep the front façade of the house,” said Adams. “We want to be friendly to the neighborhood. We have lots of other projects in Old West Austin.”


While the home was originally built in 1918, when its address was listed as 7 Enfield Road, there were some additions and renovations in the mid-1930’s. “I get upset thinking that we’re looking at a Prairie-style house of 1918 when we’re not. We’re looking at a renovation of 1936 and a Modern style,” said Commission Member Dan Leary, “and that’s really what we’re looking at here.”

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