LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. – The Lake Oswego City Council voted Tuesday to grant a controversial request to remove an historic landmark designation from the city’s oldest home. It paves the way for the demolition of the property, but preservationists said they plan to fight on.
Tuesday night the city council voted to remove the historic designation from the Carman house, which dates back to the 1850s. It’s the first home ever built in Lake Oswego.
The house has stayed in the family over the years, however different wings of the family have fought over its future.
"It's like a monument," said Gary Glenn, who’s fighting to keep the home of his great-great grandfather from being torn down. "It's a symbol of where this all [Lake Oswego] came from. To destroy this house would be like killing the goose that's been laying all the golden eggs."
Gary doesn’t own the property. A distant cousin, Margie Hanson and her brothers do.
"This was all country of course back in the day," said Hanson from outside the home.
The estate, which was once hundreds of acres, is now down to about an acre and a half. The family has sold off the land over the years for condos and other developments. But the house has remained persisted, because it was designated as an historic landmark, one of 40 such properties in the city.
Hanson asked the Lake Oswego City Council to remove the landmark status because she believes the home is not worth the upkeep.
"It's in terrible disrepair,” Hanson said. “It does need a lot of TLC. It would not make code."
She said it'll cost as much as $500,000 to fix it up and she wants to tear it down instead.
Marylou Colver lives in a landmark home and is president of the Lake Oswego Preservation Society.
"It could have devastating consequences for landmarks in Oregon," said Colver. "It's the owner of the home, at the time of the designation, that has the right to remove the landmark and that right dies with him or her. It doesn't carry on."
Even though Hanson and her brothers didn't own the property when it was given landmark status, the city council decided Hanson still had a right to remove the designation all the same.
So in the end, the city council voted Tuesday night to grant Hanson's request to remove the historic landmark designation.
Now the future of the property still remains uncertain because preservationists have said they plan to appeal the decision in court.
Cathy Marshall contributed to this report