Oregon Supreme Court to decide fate of historic Lake Oswego house

Oregon Supreme Court to decide fate of historic Lake Oswego house

The Carman House, built in the mid-1850s, is the oldest house in Lake Oswego today. But now, the house appears poised for demolition as its owners hope to clear the property for development. (Justin Runquist)

The Oregonian/OregonLiveBy The Oregonian/OregonLive
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on April 29, 2015 at 4:29 PM, updated April 29, 2015 at 10:01 PM


The Oregon Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower court’s decision that cleared the way for demolition of the Carman House, Lake Oswego’s oldest home.

Oral arguments will be heard Nov. 10, according to the order state Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Balmer issued last week. Parties have until May 22 to submit additional briefs. A decision is likely before year’s end.

The Lake Oswego Preservation Society is challenging a state Court of Appeals ruling in February that overturned a Land Use Board of Appeals decision upholding the designation of the house as a historic landmark. The designation, issued in 1990, has protected the mid-1850s-era home from demolition.

In response to the appellate ruling, the preservation society, Marylou Colver and Erin O’Rourke-Meadors filed a petition against the city of Lake Oswego and Marjorie Hanson, trustee for the Mary Caldwell Wilmot Trust, who are family members of the original owner. Restore Oregon also submitted a brief to the court assessing the potential impact of the appellate court’s ruling on the preservation of Oregon landmarks.

The current owners have tried to sell the house for the past several years. But the historic landmark status turned away potential buyers and the owners were not legally allowed to demolish the house.

— The Oregonian / OregonLive

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