Demolition permit issued for Holman Homestead in Summerside

Colin MacLean
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SUMMERSIDE  - The fate of the historic Holman Homestead in downtown Summerside is in question.

A demolition permit has been approved by the city for the property, which is located at 286 Fitzroy Street.

The house and its Victorian garden once belonged to Summerside businessman R.T. Holman and was originally built as a Catholic parsonage in 1854.

The owners, Kay and Russell Rogers say they have no plans to make good on that permit until at least sometime in the spring.  

They would rather not have to tear it down, said Kay, so they’re hoping they can find a buyer over the winter.

“It’s a fine old lady, really she truly is a beautiful old house,” said Kay.

“Of course we’d like to have somebody purchase it – it’s certainly worth hanging onto for its historical value… it’s got a lot of history.”

The Rogers purchased the property from the P.E.I. Fox Breeders Association in 2000 to open a gift and antique shop, a life-long dream of Kay’s.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE HOLMAN HOMESTEAD

 

They spent 10 months renovating the home and restoring many of its original features.

They opened the Homestead Antiques and Gifts in 2001.

In 2013 the shop was taken over by a daughter who renovated a building at 15 Water Street and moved the business there.

The Holman Homestead has been on the market now for about two years.

While the Rogers say they’ve had several people express interest in the property there have been no offers.

They also approached the City of Summerside to see if it would be interested in buying the property, but the two sides couldn’t reach a deal.

“So what do you do? The expenses go on and we’re now seniors … so it’s time to divest ourselves and of course that’s what we’re trying to do,” said Kay.

It’s a fine old lady, really she truly is a beautiful old house. Kay Rogers

If no buyer is found, they would clear the lot and develop it to facilitate its sale.  

But that idea of the community losing the home is not sitting well with the Summerside and Area Historical Society.

Peter Holman, president of the society and a descendent of the home’s namesake, said Wednesday that he was shocked when he heard it could be torn down.

“This is probably one of the most significant historical properties within the city,” said Holman.

His group filed an application with the Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission on Wednesday requesting that the demolition permit be rescinded.

They did that because they believe the public should be consulted before a building of such historic significance to the community is destroyed.

They’re also questioning whether the city had any right to issue the permit.

A city representative confirmed that the home is not a designated heritage building under the city’s bylaws.

“All we’re asking for is time to find out if in fact there are investors out there that are prepared to pay fair market value for the property and preserve it. I believe there is. And as long as the owners are prepared to deal fairly and realistically then that property will sell and can be salvaged,” said Holman.

He added that the historical society plans to schedule some public meetings in the near future to discuss how the community should proceed, though no dates have been set yet.

In the meantime, Kay, a realtor by profession, is handling the sale of the Holman Homestead herself, so anyone interested in knowing more about the listing can call her business cell at: 902-888-7510.

The property is currently listed for $297,700.

Colin.MacLean@JournalPioneer.com

Twitter.com/JournalPMacLean

Organizations: P.E.I. Fox Breeders Association, Area Historical Society, Island Regulatory and Appeals Commission

Geographic location: Summerside, 286 Fitzroy Street, 15 Water Street North America

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Recent comments

  • don
    December 17, 2015 - 14:03

    there homes in the city that should be torn down also. lets see the city tear these old dumps down also. i am sure some one would love to buy the place but the sale price is out of this world. i know i would love to but it my self but no way today would u be able get a mortgage with out a load of cash to put down.

  • summerside resident
    December 17, 2015 - 13:10

    The City would sooner pay huge salaries for the many experts??? from the mainland it hired to move the city forward rather than pay for heritage buildings.The CAO said it himself indirectly that saving heritage buildings is not a big priority and it never was. That's why Summerside doesn't have that many heritage building left compared to Charlottetown. Oh well, at least the demolition business is booming in Summerside...lol

  • Quiet Observer
    December 17, 2015 - 12:08

    Condeming the current owners is rather harsh. read the article. They have been trying to sell it for 2 years. If it is that important, then why doesn't someone buy it?

  • Summerside resident
    December 17, 2015 - 12:06

    The only thing I would question here is who on Council come up with this brilliant idea to demolish this business. On what lawful grounds did they purchase this permit. The City had screwed up big time concerning these issues. Most of the time they are going in circles, Old saying" Could not run a chicken coup" comes to mind. What is hell is this new Mayor doing?

    • UPWESTER
      December 18, 2015 - 15:20

      Summerside Resident,...No one on council came up with the idea to demolish this building and no one purchases a demolition permit. The person who got the demolition permit was the legal owners, Kay and Russell Rogers.If you have a problem with the mayor and his council, speak to them,not in an article about the Rogers. My question would be what the heck are you talking about? Can't you read or comprehend?

  • laurent Beaulieu
    December 17, 2015 - 10:00

    This is very shocking to read. Imagine if all historical buildings in Europe where to be demolished for commercial profit. The attitude of the current owners appear to be mercenary and inappropriate. The City also is to blame destroying its historical past out of sheer neglect.