Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sparta - Baker House

The Baker House is gone. After a long battle in bankruptcy court between developers and local preservationists, the outcome is clear. I learned the news from Jim Youmans, a Sparta resident, who sent me an email with a link to some pictures he took this weekend. Located 25 miles southwest of Bill's Grocery, the Baker House and its 10.7 acres will be rezoned into commercial property to make way for a shopping center. In my opinion, Sparta, with a poverty rate of over 30%, doesn't necessarily have the ideal demographics for a new shopping center. The developers know this. My bet is they sell the lumber from the house, turn around and resell the property, and walk away with a nice profit since they bought the house for dirt cheap through a bankruptcy auction. In the mean time, the city of Sparta, which has been able to preserve most of the historic houses that once lined its city streets, loses an architecturally significant house, and another one of my pictures becomes a piece of history in a year's time.