UConn to demolish abandoned houses - WFSB 3 Connecticut

UConn to demolish abandoned houses

Posted: Updated:
Plans are in the works to tear down nine historic houses on the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs. (WFSB) Plans are in the works to tear down nine historic houses on the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs. (WFSB)
STORRS, CT (WFSB) -

Plans are in the works to tear down nine historic houses on the University of Connecticut campus in Storrs.

The homes were once used as fraternities and sororities and some are currently being used as offices. But, some historians spoke out and said the houses should be preserved.

These homes, which sit along Gilbert Road have significant meaning. 

“It is the founding of UConn. UConn began there. The buildings were built between 1890 and 1930,” Margaret McCutcheon Faber, who is member of Historic Preservation Council said. “There are 9 remaining buildings. Several have already been demolished.”

Faber said the buildings are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and should be saved the group is already taking action.

“If we put together a petition and showed public support through letter to the State's Historic Preservation Office that would be enough to indicate this action,” Faber said.

But, UConn gave Eyewitness News photos of houses and showed what some of the houses look like inside. Many of them need some serious work.

Eyewitness News caught crews working on Tuesday.  Eyewitness News was told they're removing asbestos and plan to eventually knock down the houses.

UConn said it's too expensive to save these homes and it would cost $1 million per house to renovate for a total of $9 million. However, Faber isn’t buying it.

“I find it highly unlikely that it would cost a million dollars each for those houses to be rehabilitated,” Faber said.

UConn is looking to make the area green space and said they've already received permission from the state's historic preservation office to knock down the houses.

UConn released photos of what the property would look like after the demolition of the homes. Once those homes are gone, there would be trees, benches and tables.

But, with more than 360 signatures on a petition and many letters, the goal is to hold off that demolition.

“I think it would be a terrible statement by UCONN for the field of historic preservation and people should be very concerned,” Faber said.

The Historic Preservation Council will be meeting on Wednesday to see what are the next steps in the process.   

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.