Monday, September 27, 2010

Blinson House Makes Way For Clayton Law Enforcement Center

For the past year, the Town of Clayton has tried to save the Blinson House, 317 E Second Street by offering incentives for private property owners and developers to move the house to an empty parcel within Clayton's Historic District. There were no takers.

The house was on property the Town purchased some years ago in anticipation of expanding the Clayton Police Department. Design of the new Clayton Law Enforcement Center was completed recently, and construction is getting ready to begin. Because the initial financing arrangement for the CLEC was with US Department of Agriculture, which is federally-funded, the State Historic Preservation Office required the Town to preserve the building. The Blinson House was a contributing structure to the Clayton Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If the Town could move the house to another site within the historic district, then everything would be fine. The problem was limited inventory of appropriate vacant property, where a relocation and renovation would make sense.

Town staff worked agressively to find a property owner interested in the building and consulted with Preservation NC to help develop a package and locate potential owners to no avail. Recently, the Town Council approved a financing package through a local lender which would actually help pay-off the project sooner and cost a little less than the USDA financing.

So, last week a demolition crew arrived and took down the Blinson House to make way for the Clayton Law Enforcement Center.

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