Effort to reconstruct old house razed in Harford gains support

February 12, 2003|By Jennifer Blenner | Jennifer Blenner,SUN STAFF

A pile of stones from the recently razed 18th-century Little Stone House remains at Shucks Road near the Harford County community of Creswell, and so does the fascination surrounding the landmark.

Since the old house was demolished Jan. 28, the county has received phone calls from people who want to buy the stones or reconstruct the Little Stone House. Chad Shrodes, Harford County preservation planner, said yesterday that the Hays House, a historical preservation organization, would like to reconstruct the building, and other people want to use the stones for their homes.

"There is a lot of interest in the stones," Shrodes said, adding, "I want to see [the house] preserved in some way."

The house was demolished last month just as a county committee was beginning efforts to protect it.

The Historic Preservation Commission met Jan. 27 and voted to try to work with the new property owners to protect the house. But the next day, the owners, who were not part of the meeting, demolished the building because they feared it had become unsafe.

Henry Harjes III of Columbia, a co-owner, said he wants to use the stones for the new house he plans to build on the 19-acre site. Now, after the flurry of interest in the old house, he said he is willing to work with the county and state officials to preserve the property.

"We would be doing our bit to correct an unfortunate situation," Harjes said.

Also taking an active role in restoring the Little Stone House is Del. Richard K. Impallaria, a 7th District Republican who would like to see the structure reassembled.

After speaking with Harjes, Impallaria said yesterday that he hopes the Little Stone House can be rebuilt. He said the rubble could be removed to another location, "possibly Stepping Stone museum or Jerusalem Mills, to be reassembled."

Within the next few weeks, Impallaria said, he hopes to have the rubble moved. He believes the house could be reassembled by the end of summer.

The house was not registered as a historic landmark, Shrodes said, but an inventory in 1976 dated it to at least the 18th century.

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