Judge approves demolition of house on state historic list

November 08, 1995|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

The owner of a 125-year-old house in Brooklyn Park can demolish the building, thanks to an Anne Arundel County Circuit judge, but first the house will be the backdrop for the announcement of the start of a community historical society.

Judge H. Chester Goudy Jr. allowed demolition of the Ballman-Gischel House, on 10 acres between Ballman Avenue and Patrick Henry Drive, by upholding an April decision by the county Board of Appeals, which voted 4-3 to issue a permit to raze the dilapidated, historic building.

The Office of Planning Code Enforcement had refused to issue the permit, originally sought in August 1994, because the house was placed on the Maryland list of historic places in 1985.

"We are looking at the possibility of an appeal [to the Court of Special Appeals], but that decision has not been made yet. We have 30 days," said Robert M. Pollock, senior assistant county attorney.

A few weeks after county officials turned down the owner's request to demolish the building, the county council passed a law prohibiting the destruction of any structure deemed historic or significant unless the building was about to fall. The house was placed on the Maryland list of historic places by county officials in 1985 without the knowledge of the owner, Georgia O. Clift.

Mrs. Clift is a fourth-generation descendant of original owner Henry Ballman.

Thomas A. Pavlinic, her lawyer, said the house will be demolished as soon as the permit is issued.

"The house is going to be torn down and Mrs. Clift will do with the property whatever is in her best interest," he said.

The site is zoned for five homes per acre.

Duane E. Tressler, a Curtis Bay resident, said yesterday he plans to announce formation of a Brooklyn-Curtis Bay-Brooklyn Park historical society in front of the house tomorrow.

The looming demolition of the house is the impetus for starting the group, which would straddle the Baltimore city and Anne Arundel County line, Mr. Tressler said.

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