Immediately after 3-calendar year fight about demolition, fate of polka-dotted Columbia home is determined

When Columbia officials wouldn’t allow for a regional house builder to tear down a rundown 70-calendar year-previous duplex, he turned the household into a polka-dotted spectacle in protest.


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Now, the metropolis has adjusted its tune, and the pink-noticed Shandon duplex will be razed soon after all.

It’s been a far more than a few-12 months fight over the fate of the home at the corner of Rosewood Generate and South Walker Avenue.

Allen Rutter, a neighborhood builder who’s renovated a variety of houses in the Shandon community, bought the duplex in 2017, arranging to tear it down and develop just one or two new one-spouse and children homes on the lot. The duplex, created in 1940, was in disrepair at the time, but town officials reported it was sizeable to the record of Shandon and that demolishing it would erode the character of the neighborhood.

Shandon is an upscale neighborhood with a special zoning overlay that allows metropolis officials a say in the demolition of residences there in get to maintain the neighborhood’s character.

Rutter fought in vain for permission to tear down the duplex, even with the help of various neighbors dwelling close by. Possessing been denied two times, in 2018, Rutter painted the substantial, pink polka dots on the home to make a statement from the city. He hung a banner on the entrance porch that read, “Do you imagine this duplex is architecturally significant? The city of Columbia does and refuses to issue a demo permit.”

Following pursuing lawful motion from the metropolis in 2019 and failing continue to, Rutter sought to market the residence.

Lee Willm, a fellow nearby builder, bit.

Willm agreed to obtain the property beneath the condition that the city permit the house to arrive down, and he picked up the combat wherever Rutter remaining off.

It wouldn’t make fiscal feeling to fix the residence in the point out it is in, Willm claimed.

“It wasn’t in fact designed to last. They did not construct it structurally sound,” Willm told The Point out. “I’ve renovated a lot of historic residences in the very last 20 several years, and this is a person (where) the finances just don’t equal out.”

Repairs to the duplex would value all over $150,000 or additional, while Willm estimates paying out around $282,000 to build from scratch on the assets, according to team feedback submitted to the design and style board.

On Thursday, the city’s Layout/Development Critique Fee voted at previous to allow the demolition. City employees customers agreed that the house’s design was not structurally seem and mentioned that around the previous two years, the household experienced even more deteriorated to the stage exactly where it must be torn down.

When new houses ultimately choose the area of the duplex, Willm claimed, there won’t be any polka dots in the style and design options.


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