Tear Down Photos

Oronoque Saltbox Historic Home Survey

Demolition of the Oronoque saltbox commenced on October 27, 2012, and was completed on October 31, 2012 (photo TD1). The process seemed fraught with delays, including the blowing out of a backhoe, and then the arrival of Hurricane Sandy. Ironically, the remaining partial structure completely withstood the hurricane.

Nearly as tragic as the loss of the whole house itself was the fact that no attempts were made to salvage any of the home’s original material, nor was there even a shred of interest in doing so (TD17). Everything you have seen throughout these various survey photos today occupies a landfill.

Finally, an odd occurrence about the demolition itself was that the two particular timber joints I’d studied the most (the tying joint of Bent II, and rear plate connection at Bent III) had not only been exposed by the tear down, but both survived right up to the very end (TD5, TD13, and TD18).

6 Responses to Tear Down Photos

  1. John Leeke says:

    What happened to the windows? It looks like they were pulled out before the teardown started.

    • John Poole says:

      Hi John,

      Yes, you’re right. The Connecticut DEEP ruled that the windows had to be disposed of as hazardous material because of the high concentrations of lead measured in their coatings.

      I tired to convince the general contractor to let me salvage them, but he wasn’t willing to, as the building department was quite adamant about compliance and didn’t want to hear otherwise.

      So the windows were removed and packaged up in plastic, and taken away for disposal, prior to the demo. A terrible shame.

      ~ John

  2. Just a shame…why do we Americans rarely respect history? Just a shame…we lost another magnificent beauty.

  3. Melissa says:

    I had driven by that house many times and loved it. It was hidden away by the trees, but what a lovely setting. I find it a terrible shame that it was torn down. Seeing the pictures of it being torn down sadden me. I had wished I had known of its imminent tear down beforehand and maybe tried to find a way to save it. Unfortunately I wouldn’t have been able to buy it, but I think it’s a crying shame that no one even stepped forward in the name of its historic value. I’d love to know what to do to help prevent tear downs like these from happening again. That Mobil station in its place disgusts me every time I drive past it. Absolutely needless. It just shows contractor’s greed and blatant disregard.

    • John Poole says:

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks very much for the comment. Interesting that you’d posted this on October 27th, which, this year, marks the two year anniversary of the start of demolition of this house. And since that time, three 18th century structures in the immediate area had been threatened with demolition; one was saved, but two were lost.

      Unfortunately, these homes are not as well protected legally as one might suppose. But there are some efforts underway to get more protections in place. I’ll be writing quite a bit about all that in upcoming months, so please check back here from time to time. I’ll also be including information about how concerned folks might involve themselves in preservation advocacy/activism.

      Thanks again for your comment…

      ~ John

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