MEDINA — A Medina woman is attempting to save a historic home facing demolition.
Medina Schools is pursuing a deal to purchase a home at 347 N. Huntington St., which sits on 0.65 acres, for $65,000. It was going to trade the land to the city of Medina for the Bowman House, located at 625 Bowman Lane.
The school system would tear down the house on Huntington, which would allow the city to expand the parking lot at Mellert Park. About 20 special-needs students learn life skills at the Bowman House.
But the Huntington property, which once housed Sophia Huntington Parker’s farmhouse, is one of Medina’s earliest pioneer homesteads, according to Suzanne Sharpe, who is a part of the Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association.
“It breaks my heart,” she said.
According to Medina author Gloria Brown’s book, “Medina: Images of America,” Parker was born in the house in 1837 and died alone in her kitchen in 1903.
The Huntington family built the farmhouse soon after moving to Medina in 1835 from the East Coast.
In Parker’s will, she turned over her 86 acres and farm to a group that would build and maintain a home for “aged” women, Sharpe said, which eventually became the Pythian Sisters Home. Construction began on the home 11 years after Parker’s death in 1914.
The Pythian Sisters Home was razed to build Huntington Square Senior Apartments in 2017.
Sharpe, who ran unsuccessfully for the Ward 1 City Council seat last year, said she wants to find a way to balance growth and retain history.
Sharpe said homes with historical significance are being torn down in Medina County.
“It represents all of them being torn down, one by one,” Sharpe said. “It incenses me. Someone has to put their foot down.
“This is not a regular town. This is not a way to market ourselves.”
One option to save the house would be to dismantle it move it to another property. She said a nonprofit could be started to help with the financing.
Sharpe said also the house to the back end of the property and be turnd into a community house or learning center. It could be rented out just like the nearby pavilion in Mellert Park.
It might not be possible to move the house if it’s in bad shape, and the owners — Ferguson and Debra Kay, to according the Medina County auditor’s website — aren’t allowing anyone inside with the pending sale, so its condition is unknown.
“The school is purchasing the house and planned to pay for demolishing (it) and making the lot safe,” Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell said.
“I told the schools that we were pursuing grants for the parking lot extension. If Ms. Sharpe’s group wants to pay to move it, the city would be willing to provide them reasonable time to do so, as it would save the schools the cost of demolishing the house.”
Sharpe said she has a meeting planned with At-Large Councilman Bill Lamb on Saturday to kick around some ideas.
She said her next step is to find out the condition of the house.
“I can’t go into this blind,” she said.