Local News

Historic House Is Free – if You Move It

Posted January 28, 2008

— Acquiring a historic Durham home could be done for free if the buyer is willing to move. The house, that is.

The owner of the Tate House, in the Trinity Heights local historic district, has offered to give away the house – but not the land it's on. The taker must pay to move the house from its 1704 W. Markham St. address.

In February 2007, the Durham County Historic Preservation Commission granted permission to demolish the Tate House, but ordered a 365-day delay to look for a buyer. Now time is almost up.

The cost of moving a house starts around $25,000. The owner of the Tate House has offered to chip in $5,000 to defray the costs.

The Tate House dates to the 1920s, when local factory workers lived there. A number of Duke faculty members later lived the house.


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  • Supie Jan 28, 2008

    i'm sorry, i think its funny that a factory workers house built in 1920 is worth all this fuss. Haven't the termites had a good enuf chew on this old thing? call the fire dept !

  • BIGCHEESECAMATO Jan 28, 2008

    I think english professors lived in this house near Duke. That is why they say, Sell it for Free.

    Someone also told me that the Lacrose team from the 90's used to live in this house. Could this be..

  • gwhatnow Jan 28, 2008

    "Sell it for free?" Isn't this actually "give it away?" Someone needs a writing class. "Sell it for free" should refer to what it costs the seller to sell. (re caption under picture: "The owner of the Tate House...has offered to sell it for free, if the buyer pays to move the house."

  • gandalf1 Jan 28, 2008

    If the house does not get moved I hope they donate it to the fire department for training purposes.

  • Rocknhorse Jan 28, 2008

    We moved a 2-story farm house last year! This is a great opportunity for someone who has a knack for fixing up things. The cost to move shouldn't be much in comparison with an already framed house! I say, if you have some land, this is a great opportunity. There are some great moving companies out there! (there are some that are NOT great, so check references. I highly recommend Richard McCrary).

    I hope someone takes advantage of this opportunity!

  • TEC21 Jan 28, 2008

    This is a great opportunity!!! Tell a friend. I know this community can step up to the plate!

  • bwatu Jan 28, 2008

    If you are interested, and if you have an empty parcel, please email Carrie at Preservation Durham at carrie@preservationdurham.org
    Library records indicate the house was built in the early 1920s. The fist occupant was W.G. Tate, who worked at Imperial Life Insurance. From 1955 and 1956 Erwin Mills supervisor William Bumpass and his wife Imogene lived there. From 1957 to 1958, Erwin Mills tech worker Herman J. Reid and his wife Claudia lived in the house. In 1959, Erwin Mill assistant overseer Robert Holder and his wife Virginia lived there. Since then, a number of Duke faculty and others have lived in the house across from the East Campus wall.
    ~John in Durham