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‘Eyesore’ on Richmond Main Street might get second life

RICHMOND – A year and a half after the village of Richmond won the right to tear down the old house at 10104 Main St., it’s still there.

“The inside has been gutted,” Acting Village President Pete Koenig said. “It looks very unfinished. It’s kind of an eyesore and a safety hazard because it’s not very well secured. ... On the other side of that coin, it’s an interesting, old historic house. Frankly, we just didn’t want to demolish it. We thought maybe someone would save it from foreclosure.”

And it appears the village may get its wish.

A man – whom Koenig declined to identify – hopes to save the house and move in his family. He did not attend the meeting Thursday.

The hang up is that it’s difficult to get financing while the threat of demolition hangs over the house. So at its meeting Thursday evening, the Village Board voted, 6-0, to suspend the demolition for four months.

It will revisit the issue then.

If the man is successful in repairing the home, it’s a win-win for the village, Koenig said. An eyesore is removed and the village doesn’t have to spend an estimated $10,000 to $20,000 on demolition.

This is the second attempt to save the house, which Koenig said was nicknamed “Dorothy’s house” referencing the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy’s tornado-swept home.

The first man to give it a try was Keith Hasselburg.

In February 2010, he had the house cut in two horizontally, placed on beams, and moved down Route 12 to the lot and the new foundation it currently sits on.

But Hasselburg almost immediately went into bankruptcy and couldn’t complete the planned renovations, including replacing the roof, kitchen and bathroom, according to Koenig and previous reports.

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