The Franklin Briles House
When the tour arrived, a demolition crew was on top of the house, knocking down the chimney and tearing up the roof! The owner had heard that the tour was in progress, and, instead of laying out the welcome mat, he was trying to demolish the building before it could be added to the registry. The Commissioners recognized that even this was illegal. Even properties nominated to the list cannot commence demolition until approved. Furthermore, the house also falls in the Station Neighborhood Area Plan, which prohibits demolition until construction plans are found to comply with the areas rules for transit-friendly development that takes advantage of the nearby Red Line stop. Luckily, an inspector from the Department of Building and Safety was found nearby and issued a stop-work order on the spot. Now the owner has hired a consultant to work with the Cultural Heritage staff to restore the building, and I have asked the City Attorney to explore sanctions against the scofflaw owner.