Demolition of four 90-plus-year-old homes planned

Should historic homes be demolished to accommodate the growth of Columbia?

As Columbia grows, it will face more and more such questions, just as it has in the past. The Missouri Theatre, built in 1928, displaced the home that was once there. Now, there are four homes built from 1900-1915 that will probably be demolished to accommodate the building of new apartment buildings. Jon and Nathan Odle have requested a rezoning permit for the area.

An article published on Dec. 16, 2010 in the Columbia Missourian states the construction would “displace four homes, a grassy field and an existing parking lot.” Displaced means torn down, destroyed, razed. As a member of a city commission wondered aloud at a recent meeting, will the new apartments be built to stand the test of time, as have these Victorian homes?

The homes are at 113 College, built 1900, 1211 E. Walnut, built 1915 and 1215 E. Walnut Street, built 1900. Some comments on the Columbia Missourian site showed residents would welcome one of the houses being destroyed, calling the pink house ugly.

But is that what we want? Victorian homes, even ugly ones, demolished?

Some old Victorians can become what are called “Painted ladies,” renovated and spruced up. They can even become tourist draws, such as those in San Francisco.

On the other hand, an old house sometimes is just an old house.

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