Richmond officials seek input on demolition of historic homes

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Hundreds of historic buildings in Richmond are currently in danger of being demolished. Now, city officials are alerting as many people as possible before the demolition begins.

The new notification process lets neighborhoods know when a historic home could potentially be torn down. It gives them the chance to weigh in before a wrecking ball brings these properties down.

Ambers Young has lived in her East End home for almost fifty years. Next to her home is 514 Pollock Street. The now-vacant house still has remnants of the people who lived there, but it's fallen into disrepair.

In large part, because trees have fallen on the home during past storms. With Tropical Storm Andrea approaching, Young is afraid her neighbor's trees will hit her home next.

For that reason and others, the city sent out an email notifying folks in the area that the house is a danger and the city wants to tear it down, which is welcome news to most.

"If the state of the house is going like it is now, they need to do something," said Young.

These notifications are part of a new process to let people know when historic homes are in danger of being demolished. However, not all homes need to be demolished, says Katherine Morgan with the Historic Richmond Foundation.

"The policy put forth by the city to help bring awareness to these properties that are potentially going to be demolished has so far proved to be successful," said Morgan.

As an example, Morgan points to 902 North 25th Street. When the city wanted to tear it down, community groups banded together and saved the historic home.

Historic Richmond won't be stepping in to save the home on Pollock, but hopes the city's notification process will inspire others to save historic buildings they love.

City officials say, they'll continue to get input in order to save the character of Richmond's neighborhoods while still ensuring safety.

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