WOODSTOCK--The 182-year-old stone house on a hill is coming down.
An excavator started demolishing the stone house in the "east end" of Woodstock this week. Nick Burke, a lawyer representing the property, says it will be completely gone this winter.
The 1834 William Blake House has slowly been falling into disrepair since an oil spill in 1973. The demolition of the building was a sticking point between Burke and the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation. At one point it was estimated it would cost $2 million to fix the building. Burke didn't yet know what the demolition cost would be.
In exchange for Woodstock losing one of its old buildings, Burke was asked to pay $50,000 to the state to survey Woodstock's historic structures as part of a mitigation agreement. Burke said his company has made that payment.
"The survey has to be done by the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation. The division has to complete that survey by 2018," said Burke.
The house was supposed to have been demolished in December, according to permits, but Burke asked for an extension.
Burke has been trying to sell the 4.53-acre property. He said he’s had some interest--at one point a grocery store chain considered purchasing it--but nobody has signed an agreement.