Demolition permit rescinded for Holman Homestead in Summerside

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Nancy MacPhee
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SUMMERSIDE  - The permit has been pulled.

The owners of the Holman Homestead, earlier this week, pulled their permit application with the City of Summerside for the property’s demolition, confirmed Mayor Bill Martin Thursday.

“The owners of the property have asked for it to be rescinded,” said Martin. “All I can say is that I know certain circumstances have changed.”

A demolition permit had been approved earlier this month by the city for the property, located at 286 Fitzroy St.

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

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Most recently, it was the former home of Homestead Antiques and Gifts.

That store relocated in 2013, leaving the property, owned by Kay and Russell Rogers, vacant.

The couple had purchased the property from the P.E.I. Fox Breeders Association in 2000 to open the gift shop.

Last week, TC Media reported that there were plans afoot to preserve the historic building.

When asked if the city had been approached to historically protect the property and save it from the wrecking ball, Martin said “not really.”

“It is not the city’s role to protect the property. The city basically follows all of our bylaws, processes and procedures,” said the mayor. “It wasn’t our role. I am not sure what we could have done.”

He added, “All I can say is certain circumstances have changed to the point where the Rogers and the company that actually own the property have asked that the application for it to be demolished be rescinded.”

Designating the building an historic property isn’t something the city can do, said Martin, who believes only P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation can do that.

“It is a beautiful building. It does have historic value,” he added. “The onus is on the owner of the property to initiate that process. It has nothing to do with the city.”

Organizations: P.E.I. Fox Breeders Association, TC Media, Rogers PEI Museum Heritage Foundation

Geographic location: Summerside

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