With the demolition of the Lynch house about three weeks away, developments continue to unfold, including the possibility of moving the home before it meets the wrecking ball.
Solon Councilman Robert Shimits, president of the Solon Historical Society, said Monday that someone has expressed interest in moving the home. Mr. Shimits said he could not divulge the man’s name at this time.
“He’s shown some definite interest in moving it and saving it,” Mr. Shimits said, and with partnering with the Solon Historical Society.
Mr. Shimits said he was going to alert city officials of this development this week.
Solon City Council approved the demolition of the home, and Mayor Edward H. Kraus upheld that decision, with a target date of March 5. Mayor Kraus had extended that date following council’s meeting earlier this month to give the society time to ensure that whatever historic artifacts are in the home are preserved.
“I’m a strong advocate for not only our history in our community but for the historical society themselves,” Mayor Kraus said. “I want to do whatever I can to help and partner with them.
“After council made the decision, there was no other viable way to keep and preserve the home,” he said. “I was not going to overturn a decision made by council, but the least I can do is help to salvage some of the history in the home so it can be preserved for future generations.”
Mr. Shimits said that if there was ever a time the mayor should veto a vote of City Council, it should be in this instance. That is because the vote on the lease agreement with the society failed by a vote of 3-2, bringing the fate of the home to an end.
A total of four affirmative votes were needed for passage. Supporting the ordinance was Councilmen Jeremy A. Zelwin, Robert N. Pelunis and Marc R. Kotora. Opposing it were councilmen William I. Russo and Eugene Macke Bentley. Abstaining from the vote was Mr. Shimits and Councilwoman Nancy E. Meany, board member of the society.
“I’m still beside myself,” Mr. Shimits said. “How do you let two council members out of seven make a decision like this?” He said while the members are entitled to their opinions on the matter, “it is not the true opinion of council and the residents.”
Mr. Shimits said he will ask that the city add the house itself to its list of auction items. That way, if the person would follow through with moving it, he or she could buy the whole house. “If that doesn’t work, we can bid on the items we want to salvage,” Mr. Shimits said.
He added that talk is to move the home somewhere else in Solon and allow the society to retain use of it for programs.
Mr. Shimits said that is not unusual, and that other communities have facilities not attached to their main museum and have programs in these remote locations.
The person who has expressed interest in moving it has asked the society to give him a financial commitment as well, Mr. Shimits said.
In other updates, Mr. Shimits said that a citizens group that had amassed more than 1,200 signatures to save the home is still pretty active to stop the demolition.