In the News

Debate delays razing of historic house in Cresson

By Jodi Weigand
Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cresson officials will delay tearing down a 121-year-old house while a judge considers a historical association’s appeal of the demolition of the dilapidated, but historic structure.

“As long as the matter is in front of (the Pennsylvania) Commonwealth Court the township is reluctant to demolish the building,” said Cresson Solicitor Gerald Neugebauer Jr. The Cresson Area Historical Association, which owns the home, filed the appeal Oct. 27.

The home was used by Benjamin Franklin Jones, the founder of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp. It is one of the last buildings left standing from Cresson Springs, a popular retreat for the wealthy during the late 19th century.

Cresson officials say the house is an eyesore and a fire and safety hazard. The historical association is trying to raise money to make repairs.

Cambria County Judge David Tulowitski ordered the home to be burned, a cheaper form of demolition, by September. The Cresson supervisors later extended the deadline to Nov. 15, under an agreement with the historical association.

Timothy Burns, an Ebensburg lawyer representing the association, on Thursday filed a motion asking Tulowitski to reconsider his denial of a stay requested by the association, court records show. The judge denied the request the next day, according to court records.

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