If you’ve been reading MissPres for the last 6 months or so, you’ll be familiar with the sad saga of the Lipscomb House, a sweet 1880s Queen Anne cottage listed on the National Register as part of the Columbus Central Commercial Historic District and locally protected in the Columbus Historic Preservation District. It is situated on a corner near the courthouse in Columbus, a town renowned for its historic buildings and an early adopter of the Pilgrimage model of heritage tourism.
Here’s the Lipscomb House before its owner died, mature azaleas and magnolias gracing its lawn in a streetview photo almost worthy of a Pilgrimage brochure.
As you may recall, the estate, represented by attorney David Sanders, made a deal with the Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, chaired by brother-of-David, Harry Sanders, to sell the property for $190,000 (the value with the house) but as a vacant lot that the county could then use for parking, or an addition, or . . . well whatever. As Slim Smith noted in his March 30 editorial in The Dispatch:
If you want to buy a comparable empty lot in the city of Columbus, you could expect to pay about $20,000 for it. So, if it was the county’s desire to buy an empty lot, it should have ordered an appraisal for the value of the land alone, not the “improvement” on the property, i.e., the house — a house the supervisors made clear they does not want.
I mean, seriously, FBI, it seems like time for another Operation Pretense up in here.
Anyway, long and sordid story short, the Columbus Historic Preservation Commission only has the authority to place a moratorium on demolition–it cannot deny demolition outright–so the estate finally got its demolition permit, and for a month or so the house has been undergoing . . . well, I think it’s called salvage, but it looks as much like vandalism to me. Poor thing is being ripped apart and left hanging.
Columbus, are you going to use any of these pictures in your next Pilgrimage brochure? (Between now and then, maybe you should revisit your historic preservation ordinance to give the commission the authority to deny a demolition permit.)
Lowndes County, time to vote these bums out of office.