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Poll: What Should Be Done About Historic Home At 9300 Prescott

The Manassas City Council has been mulling over what to do about the 1905 historical Queen Anne-style house that sits in a state of decay at 'the gateway to the historic district' for many years.

The Manassas City Council has been mulling over what to do about the 1905 historical Queen Anne-style house that sits in a state of decay at 'the gateway to the historic district' for many years.

Prescott Avenue area residents even formed a community group and met to discuss what should be done about the house.

At one point, in 2007, the council voted to spend nearly $100,000 to repair the home, according to the Washington Post, but strong public outcry later resulted in the city backing down on spending tax payers dollars to fix up someone's personal property.

Now, the property is in the hands of Bank of America, which took control of the building in July. City officials decided to allow the bank to proceed with the foreclosure process and repair it or sell it, but little has been done to secure the building.

A top floor window is broken out—and has been for a long time—exposing the interior of the house to the weather.

Residents along Prescott Avenue and the director for the Office of Community Development for the City of Manassas, Liz Via-Gossman recommend the city take action to secure the property on Prescott Avenue before the winter months.

"One more winter and it won't make it," Via-Gossman said.

R. Kraus October 13, 2011 at 07:27 PM
Contact "This Old House" of Boston PBS and see if they will fund its renovation. They believe in saving Historic Homes!
Larry Gibson October 13, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Bank of America is unreliable (although maybe they can afford it with all the buyout money and now that they even will charge you for debit cards). The City and the people of the community need to preserve it (another arm of Manassas Museum?) or tear it down and make a park. Bank of Amarica, are you listening?...how about donating it! You don't need another black eye!
Randy October 13, 2011 at 10:21 PM
I live right down the street from this house and pass it daily. It is truly heartbreaking to see a home with such potential, not to mention historic background deteriorate right in front of our eyes. Bank of America will most likely foreclose and TEAR it down and either sell the lot or turn it over to the local authortity.
Randy October 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Does anyone know how much is owed to BOA???
Randy October 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Good idea!!!!!
Randy October 13, 2011 at 10:24 PM
You are correct. BOA along with other mega banks received billions of dollars as both bailout and to help people who are behind in their mortgages and in danger of foreclosure. They have been misappropriating those funds!
Mortimer Hemmer October 14, 2011 at 01:10 AM
I was contacted on the repairs and had named several general contractors, I think there is more involved than just fixing an old house. I thought we had the plumbing contract but something fell threw
Lisa Baxter October 14, 2011 at 04:34 AM
My husband and I have admired this home for years. Imagining how magnificent it could be. We even talked to the owners one day and asked if we could buy it. They lied and told us their mother was living in the house and that they were getting a loan for repairs. We have since moved out of state. I hope that this incredible home can be preserved and that the community businesses and people work together to restore it.
Robyn Williams October 14, 2011 at 03:19 PM
This is a special and unique dwelling worth restoring and I must commend City Council and the Staff for their support and accomplishments thus far. Although I am not privy to all of the facts, I am confident that this property, if sold at a low enough price, would be purchased by an individual with the means to restore this home. The issue is, once purchased, the house could still be torn down to build another. Is there a way to restrict the deed preserving the exterior? Is that even legal? There are two homes in the City I can think of as examples, one on Main St and the second on Bennett St, where the new owners remodeled leaving the integrity of the exterior the same or similar to the original. Both homes are beautiful and possess historic charm which is what makes the City of Manassas so attractive.
Pat Nichols October 14, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Would this property not come under the Historic Property rules?? Could that organization help with this in some way??
Robyn Williams October 14, 2011 at 03:29 PM
Our City government should not be in the business of purchasing and restoring homes, although, if the market is such that there are no buyers for this property, even at a give away price, I would encourage a public private type of partnership to purchase the property from B of A or its investor to preserve such a unique historic home.
Robyn Williams October 14, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Fabulous idea!!
Pat Nichols October 14, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Would this property come under the rules for Historic Properties? And don't they have grants or things to make repairs?
Pat Nichols October 14, 2011 at 03:40 PM
http://www.nps.gov/nr/faq.htm This site has info on how and who to contact to research as to whether this property could be registered as Historic.
Erin Gibson (Editor) October 14, 2011 at 04:54 PM
Pat, thanks for the link. Randy, I am not sure how much is owed to the bank, but will certainly try and find out. Thanks for all your comments.
Erin Gibson (Editor) October 14, 2011 at 04:59 PM
Thanks for taking the poll. It looks like (as it currently stands) the majority of you are voting in favor of the city buying and restoring the home with 52 votes at 39 percent. What if it means your taxes go up?!
Jamie M. Rogers (Editor) October 18, 2011 at 06:42 PM
I think the city should buy it, unlike my Manassas Park, the City of Manassas isn't digging in between the sofa cushions for pennies. I don't know what it has in the kitty, but I don't residents have to worry about a tax increase.
Erin Gibson (Editor) October 18, 2011 at 08:37 PM
Hi Jamie, A lot of people agree with you, but I think another issue is if you do if for one home/owner then you will have to do it for another and another and another and then, yes, it could get costly for the tax paying resident. Where do you draw the line?
Jonathan Way October 20, 2011 at 08:34 PM
The Land Use and Economic Development Committee of the City Council will be discussing 9300 Prescott Ave alternatives and recommended actions by the city at it's next meeting October 27 at 5:30 pm, second floor City Hall. While the meeting is not a public hearing, the public is invited to attend.
Erin Gibson (Editor) October 21, 2011 at 01:36 AM
Thanks for the heads up, Councilman Way! I am sure there are a lot of people who would like to attend.
Lisa Baxter January 12, 2012 at 12:57 AM
What was the outcome of the Oct 27 meeting?
Erin Gibson (Editor) January 12, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Hi Lisa! I did not go to that particular meeting, but at last update via the city community development office the city was interested in obtaining bids to secure the property for the winter since the bank had not made steps to do so, and they are worried it won't make it through the winter. I know the city met with a contractor in late December, but from what I can tell nothing further has been done to the house and it is raining as we speak!

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