The house at 609 Westmount is set to be demolished — and the bad news is there is currently no way to prevent this. A group of people is meeting to explore starting an organization to save Columbia’s history. If you’re interested, the meeting is open to the public and will be meeting at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 18 in the Columbia Public Library’s Friends Room.
Here are some news reports on the upcoming demolition of this historic home:
This June 1, 2022 Columbia Missourian article provides further background on why the house can’t be saved through any city regulations. https://www.columbiamissourian.com/news/local/proposed-demolition-mobilizes-neighbors-to-protect-homes-in-the-old-southwest-district/article_c61b5310-dc3b-11ec-9522-cf20e5a7ccf3.html
So why is this home important? The homes in this area were built in about 1906 and demolishing a home effects what is called the “streetscape.” Streetscape is when an area has a similar look or atmosphere. Currently this neighborhood has a settled, historic feel to it and whether the owners of 609 Westmount will build on the soon to be cleared lot a house that will fit in is anyone’s guess.
As the reports say, the neighbors aren’t happy, but there is no law or ordinance that can prevent a home owner from demolishing their property. Should there be some kind of regulation or law preventing this beyond the 45 day delay now in place?
There are two meetings where you can ponder that:
The monthly meeting of the Columbia’s city council’s Historic Preservation Commission, see their schedule here https://www.como.gov/boards/historic-preservation-commission/
A meeting of a proposed new group meeting for the second time at 2 p.m. on June 18 in the Columbia Public Library.