Archive for Monday, November 19, 2012

City to consider $50k offer to resolve Varsity House dispute

November 19, 2012


Lawrence city commissioners at their meeting Tuesday will discuss how to resolve a dispute regarding whether the Varsity House at 1043 Indiana St. was properly moved to make way for an apartment complex at the site.

Lawrence developer Thomas Fritzel has offered to “raise and/or guarantee pledges” of $50,000 for historic preservation efforts in the community to resolve the dispute.

Commissioners previously have said they do not think Fritzel followed the terms of a city agreement that called for the old home to be moved from one part of the site to another.

Fritzel moved the home by dismantling it into many pieces, and the structure is being rebuilt with large amounts of new material. In a letter to commissioners, Fritzel said he doesn’t think he violated the agreement, but rather said dismantling the house was “the only way to ensure the structural integrity and longevity of the Varsity House.

Fritzel said the $50,000 donation would be made in 2013 to the Douglas County Community Foundation to further historic preservation in the community. But he said he wants to have authority, along with local preservationist and Oread resident Carol von Tersch, to determine what specific project the donated money should be spent on.

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.


3rd_planet 5 years, 6 months ago

That building was an eyesore for years, looked like a great place for some addicts to shoot up. The developer already explained that, because the house used balloon framing, it couldn't be moved in one piece. The fact that he agreed to reconstruct the house by itself should be enough, he shouldn't have to pay off the darn historic society.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

Now it'll look like an eyesore with a bunch of sorority girl makeup.

spiderd 5 years, 6 months ago

You don't know what you're talking about. Whether a building is balloon framed or not has nothing to do with the feasibility of it being moved. Even if it did, the architect surely already knew that the house was likely framed in that manner - most of that age were. Do you believe everything you hear?

As for your opinion on the buidling, it's really a moot point now. The debate regarding whether to save the house or not was concluded over a year ago. What remained from that debate was an agreement between the city and a developer, an agreement that was not fulfilled. What we have now is a developer who in the very near future stands to make millions of dollars off of a no-bid rec project at city tax payer expense. Rightly so, he's busy trying to make this current issue go away. I suspect he's not overly concerned where the money goes at this point.

3rd_planet 5 years, 6 months ago

The renovated house looks a lot better than it originally did so whats the big fuss? Its still the same look and design but in actual livable conditions.

Are you saying you'd rather have the decrepit vacant building that it used to be.

spiderd 5 years, 6 months ago

How on earth did you surmise that that is what i'm saying? I'd actually prefer that they had dressed it as a chicken. The point is, it's no longer a debate about what anyone wants to do with the house, it's about a broken deal.

3rd_planet 5 years, 6 months ago

Better than the used syringes you and your friends left lying around

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

Well, we came within 100 yards of you, so we had to take every antibiotic known as a precaution.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 6 months ago

I wonder which subcontractors Fritzel will stiff-arm for a "pledge."

Jayson Hawk 5 years, 6 months ago

More than likely the commission will accept his offer, but Fritzel should not have a part in deciding where the money goes with all of the things he's pulled. This commission has no backbone. Fritzel and Compton continue to have their way with these commissioners.

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