The Yellow House is located at the intersection of Routes 82 and 46, a place that comes up against the Diverging Diamond interchange project
HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Members of the Howland Historical Society are working hard to save what’s known as the Yellow House – one of the township’s most historic homes.
Their opponent is progress in the form of a fancy new road that the Ohio Department of Transportation wants to build outside the front door.
The yellow house is located at the intersection of routes 82 and 46 in Howland.
“But we think it’s the oldest here. We traced it back to the 1830s, ”said Warren Taiclet, vice-president of the Howland Historical Society.
The Howland Historical Society rents the Yellow House as its headquarters.
But now it’s under threat of demolition, as the Diverging Diamond Interchange – slated for construction in 2023 – will bring the road within two feet of the front door.
“ODOT really doesn’t want to demo this. They really worked hard with us and tried to prevent it from being demolished, ”said Cindee Mines, member of the Board of Directors of the Historical Society.
Mines says they have considered moving the house north, but Viaduct 82 is in the way.
“They told us it was not the north. ODOT didn’t tell us north at all, ”Mines said.
Other options are to build a retaining wall up front or move the house onto the property, both of which would require a new access road. Or, ODOT will move it south, a maximum of one mile.
“Everything in the south costs about a million dollars an acre or less, and we don’t have a million dollars or anywhere near that,” Taiclet said.
The house is owned by Niles’ real estate agent Jason Altobelli, who says he tried to work with the Historical Society to save the house but couldn’t come to a deal. Altobelli says it is likely the house will be demolished.
“It would be nice to be able to save it somehow, and keeping it on the original lot makes it of more historical value,” Mines said.
“Everything is demolished and the people don’t have the history of the township,” Taiclet said.
Howland Township Administrator Matthew Vansuch said the access road needed to keep the house on the property would in fact be a private driveway, but the township cannot agree to maintain it. Vansuch called the location a terrible place to have a house and agreed that having to demolish it would be sad.
If you have any questions about saving the Yellow House, the Howland Historical Society will be holding their monthly open house this Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the house.
It’s free, although donations are welcome. You have to go north.