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The Durkee Project

!!  Saving a Historic Legacy  !!

1846 American Folk Inn



 

 

 

A fine example of American Folk Western Reserve architecture, the historic 1846 Durkee house, built of hand cut Berea Sandstone is facing imminent demolition. Located at the foot of East Branch Reservoir, Akron’s water department is seeking bids for total demolition of the house. 

 

   

 

The stone reads "Martin Durkee  proprietor - C. Chapin   Builder  A D 1846"

 

Beautiful Berea Sandstone on all four sides.  Two story, 1,700 sqft.   The state of Ohio was only 43 years old.  James Polk was President.   Lincoln was first elected to the House.  The United States annexed Texas and declared war on Mexico.  The house has to have an interesting history.  Located on Old Ohio State Road 608,  a two day coach ride - - 30 miles from Cleveland next to a stream forming the Cuyahoga River, it was well placed for an Inn in the era of horse travel.

 

Planned demolition sneaks up on buildings, as redevelopment efforts avoid publicity until the demolition permit is issued.  Usually, the time window for saving the building is a matter of a few weeks.  Buildings are removed for good reasons by demolition firms with government support.  They do not want fights with preservation advocates before the axe is already falling … so the buildings just disappear.   But if there is enough time to find the resources, it is possible to save them.

 

This 172 year old house can be moved ... it could be a great Geauga roadside market for local products ... maple, chese, antiques, crafts, etc.  A  purchaser would probably have to have a commercial business in mind to justify the investment.  It is not too late to save the house, Akron's Water Department's RFP for demolition seeks final action by next August.  A firm plan to move the house would be approved by the city.

 

There are two good ways to move the house, depending on how far it is moved.  For short distances … a few miles … the house can be jacked up, set on beams with wheels, and moved on local roads.   If the future location is farther away, the house could be moved anywhere in NE Ohio by carefully disassembling it and reconstructing it on the new site.  We moved the Guernsey house 105 miles.  

 

We estimate that a short distance wheeled move could cost in the area of $ 400,000.  A longer distance, through disassembly and reconstruction could run $ 700,000.

 

ResErections, Inc. specializes in documenting, marketing and disassembling architecturally unique 19th century stone houses that can be reconstructed on sites where the investment results in the creation of new real estate wealth.  Buyers save an endangered  historic structure from demolition . 

 

We document everything, photographing and labeling all the stones, carefully taking it apart enabling accurate reconstruction. The sandstone block is hand cut and 8 - 12" thick.  Walls are 2 ft thick.   We estimate that there is 400 tons of fine Berea Sandstone in the house, most of it mined on the site.

We only work on stone buildings.  We insist on detailed total recovery of stone historic buildings and salvagable wooden components.  The hand cut stone used in historic houses is irreplacable.  Quarries have been closed and masonry craftsman skills lost.  Americans don't build with stone anymore ... it is far more expensive than poured concrete ... so when these buildings are gone ...

 

ResErections collaborates with local architects and employ  local tradesmen at both the source and destination of the buildings.  We do not rebuild because we have no control over what the new owner and architect want to do.  We build the supply chain between the seller and the buyer of reputable professional firms.  We document the structure, supervise on-site work standards, disassemble the builing, and package and ship the recovered components.  We are experts in material handling and logistics.  We recover everything that will not crumble when touched. 

 

We create a great deal for the buyers, the sellers, the doers, and the public, turning American wealth into Americans at work.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Berea Sandstone is a high quality sedimentary geological formation which extends across Ohio, eastern Pennsylvania, and northern Kentucky laid down during the early Mississippian Age - 360 to 320 million years ago.  In the 19th and early 20th century, it was extensively quarried beginning in the 1830s.  Huge amounts of it were used architecturally in many important public buildings including The Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  As an expensive material, it was used in many mansions for successful entrepreneurs in Americas gilded age (1870-1910).  Most of the quarries closed in the late 1930s, when concrete came into wide use.

 

Berea Sandstone quarries were the largest sandstone quarries in the world.  Berea Grit is unique in that the grain runs the long way of the blocks, making it easier to quarry and more durable in uses and is famous for its evenness in texture and color free from impurities making it extremely valuable in the construction market.  Analysis of Berea Sandstone show that it is comprised of at least 93% silica, 4 percent alumina, other trace elements, and weighs 140 pounds per cubic foot.

 


 

ResErections has completed disassembly of the 1830 Guernsey house, a similar building now being reconstructed in Ohio.  We will use the same recovery and documentation techniques.

 

    

 

 

     

Every stone is numbered - identifying its location and orientation

 

ResErection - Stone by Stone

 

   

  

  

      

     

    

  

Mantles, and window and doorway lintels and sills were rebuilt with new stone

 

 

   

Hand cut timber frame joinery

   

 

 

 

 

Hand cut sandstone

The beauty of a hand cut Berea Sandstone wall

Every stone is back where it came from

 

 

 

 

House is Complete.   ResErection in Fall 2018.

American Folk Video

 


Relocating stone buildings is Practical

The Kemper Castle has been ResErected

 

The Kemper house is in the hill country outside Austin.  It has two towers and a 50 mile view of the Blanco River valley.   Location confidential - house cannot be seen from the road

 


 

ResErections has several other American Castles to relocate  -  click images.

 

         

 

     

   

   

 

 


 

 

How ResErections Started this business

A Flaming Start

  

 


 

We would enjoy hearing from you by phone or email.

Telephone  (800) 392-2421

Office           (513) 376-6235

Cell               (513) 212-8496 

Office Hours -- 3pm - 8pm

               Email             Info@ResErections.com
 


 

HOMERomanesque IVictorianRomanesque IIIRomanesque IVBeaux ArtsAmerican FolkCotswoldKemperChurches
ScareCrow InnWork In ProcessReConstructionQuestionsTerms of Sale

 

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