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Medina officials say no rush, will wait to see historic house can be moved

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MEDINA — Instead of tearing down a historic house on North Huntington Street, school officials said Monday they are going to wait to see if a local woman can finalize plans to move the 183-year-old home.

Medina historian Suzanne Sharpe said she wants to save the house once occupied by Sophia Huntington Parker, who lived on an 86-acre farm that was one of the earliest pioneer homesteads in Medina.

Sharpe said Monday she’s still working on trying to move the house, but nothing has been finalized.

Medina Superintendent Aaron Sable said after a work session at Medina High School, he had no idea about the historical significance of the house.

The school district has agreed to hold off on demolishing the house until Sharpe can finalize plans.

Sable said he spoke with Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell and two members of City Council last week about the situation.

“We are not in any rush to tear down the house,” the superintendent said. “We’ll allow time to move the house. It doesn’t impact us. The mayor is not in any rush.”

Sable said both sides will move forward on the land swap and the deal should be finalized by the next regular school board meeting on March 18.

“There are still some details that need to be worked out,” he said.

Medina Schools Treasurer Dave Chambers said he transferred $65,000 to a title company Monday for the purchase of the home at 347 N. Huntington St.

The plan is to purchase the home, which sits on 0.65 acres, and trade it to the city of Medina for the Bowman House, located at 625 Bowman Lane. The city wants to expand the parking lot at Mellert Park with the land.

Sable said the school district will also work on renovations on the Bowman House, which houses about 20 special-needs students daily during the school year. Replacing the roof is the top priority.

Sharpe, who ran unsuccessfully for Council last year and belongs to the Bankers Row Historical Neighborhood Association, said she’s determined to prevent demolition of the house on Huntington.

“I will save this house,” she said.

“At the very least, I believe I have a few options — all good ones.”

Sharpe has started a Facebook page: “Preserve Medina History: Help Rescue the (183-year-old) Huntington House.”

The Huntington family built the farmhouse after moving to Medina in 1835 from the East Coast. Parker was born that year and died in 1903.

In her will, she turned over her 86 acres and farm to a group that would build and maintain a home for “aged” women, which eventually became the Pythian Sisters Home.

In other news:

Sable said he would recommend to the board at the March 18 meeting to appoint the assistant superintendent and the business manager positions to the Rec Center Advisory Board.

Those positions are currently filled by Kris Quallich and Jon Burkhart, respectively.

There was some talk about those spots being filled by board members, but it was not advisable by the Ohio Ethics Commission.

Other spots on the Rec Center Advisory Board are city appointees, Keith Sooy and Laura Nemeth, as well as joint appointees Jane Anderson, Tina Sabol and Suzanne Swain.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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