Jefferson City Battle

1 decade 1 year 5 months ago Monday, June 18 2007 Jun 18, 2007 Monday, June 18, 2007 9:54:26 PM CDT June 18, 2007 in News

A block of Jefferson City homes are at the center of a debate between growth and history.

The homes on West McCarty street are tattered. Windows are missing and roofs cave in, and residents of Jefferson City say they are tired of it.

"I drive past them everyday," said Linda Phillips of Jefferson City. "They're kind of an eye sore. This is a real pretty area uptown and then you look at them. Something definitely needs to be done with them."

The houses have been abandoned for quite some time, and the paint comes right off the side of most of the houses.

The City Council discussed the fate of the homes during its meeting, a topic that's been ongoing for almost a decade.

"The demolition would begin as soon as the demolition crew could move in there," said Steve Rasmussen, Jefferson City administrator. 

The council wants the homes demolished to make way for a new convention center, but a preservation group called the Historic City of Jefferson says these houses deserve a chance.

"They represent a period of time in the early 1900s where there was a specific kind of architectural style that was prevalent in the working class," said Pete Nacy, a lawyer.

Nacy says the group proposed a renovation plan for one of the homes.  He says the council needs to take it seriously.

The fate of the homes are expected to be decided in two weeks.  If the City Council passes the proposal, the homes will be torn down within a month.  City officials estimate a convention center could be built in three years.

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