MADISON (WKOW) -- A non-profit group with at-risk, teenage apprentices in the building trades may be the last hope for a historic, Madison house scheduled for January demolition.
Operation Fresh Start director Greg Markle says participating teens gain valuable work experience rehabilitating aging properties into affordable housing. Markle says the organization wants to take-on such a project with a home on Mound Street.
But the home at 1022 Mound Street must be moved to make way for apartments, as part of nearby Meriter Hospital's development of the area.
The Trust for Historic Preservation's Jason Tish tells 27 News the century-old, Mound Street home is almost unique in the state, as an example of stick-style architecture, with ornate, intricate exterior touches.
Project developer Craig Enzenroth has advertised the house at just the cost of its relocation, estimated at $40,000, with a $5,000 incentive payment.
"We could probably take on maybe half the cost of moving it," Markle says.
Markle also says Operation Fresh Start would need a property owner to donate a vacant lot to put the historic home on.
Under the guidance of construction mentors, teen crews from Operation Fresh Start are rehabilitating several homes in Madison, and a duplex in Sun Prairie.
Tish praises Enzenroth and his staff for appreciating the intangible value of the Mound Street home's place in history. "They made the house available for someone to relocate it. They didn't have to. They had a demolition permit in hand," Tish tells 27 News.
When 27 News first reported on the home's unique circumstance in October, the demolition date was in December. It's been pushed back, but Enzenroth tells 27 News without a working offer, the home's destruction is now scheduled for next month.
Markle concedes the donation of property and pledge of needed funds have little time to materialize. But he holds out hope.
"This could be a new opportunity," Markle tells 27 News. "(It) Could be a good opportunity to further two, great causes."
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