After sitting on stilts for more than a year at a temporary College Avenue lot and an eight-month legal battle attempting to halt a move, the day is set for the Kent Wells Sherman House to relocate to North Water Street.
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During the morning hours of Aug. 24, the 1858 Greek Revival-style house will make its way from the Kent State University-owned College Avenue lot to 247 N. Water St., said Roger Thurman, vice-chair of Kent Wells Sherman House, Inc. The organization was formed in order to preserve the home, which has links to Kent patriarch Zenas Kent and civil war-era surgeon Dr. Aaron Sherman.
The house will travel along Haymaker Parkway, head north on South DePeyster Street, go left on Erie Street, turn right on South Water Street and head through the intersection of Main and Water streets before it is maneuvered to its new and permanent location.
In 2011, The Kent Wells Sherman House was purchased by KSU with a group of boarding houses on Erie Street for demolition to make room for the Esplanade extension project. Once a group of residents, now organized as Kent Wells Sherman House, Inc., announced in early 2012 their intention to save the house because of its place in Kent history, KSU agreed to help the group move the house out of the walkway path and sell it for $1 if they could find a new site.
The announcement of the home's move comes about two weeks after Portage County Common Pleas Judge John Enlow ruled against a citzens group, "Save the Standing Rock Garden," which sought to halt the move and preserve the green space at 247 N. Water St. Standing Rock Cultural Arts used the site for 20 years for community events and children's theater, but never purchased it.
"Sooner or later, we knew this would take place because our site plan was perfectly in consonance with the commercial code," Thurman said.
Thurman said once the Kent Wells Sherman House is on the North Water Street lot, its first goal of saving the house will be complete. The next priority is to fix up the second floor to accommodate office space to help produce income and then the organization will focus on the first floor, he said.
"Just getting the house down there establishes our goals at the core of what we're trying to do, but then we'll be using the downstairs to educate the people about the value of historic preservation and sustainability and we'll be able to also use that space for public usage at various times," he said.
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Facebook: Kyle McDonald, Record-Courier