Boarded up and with flapping blue tarp on the roof, this charming dark-red brick cottage with historic credentials looks like it would be a lovely place to live for those desiring proximity to an increasingly lively downtown.
Alas, all it is good for at the moment is future placement of a prominent sign reading: “This view of Rome brought to you by the Historic Preservation Commission.” Shouldn’t they receive credit for their deeds?
A fire about two years ago left it in its current, restorable condition. Previously used as an office, owner/developer Larry Martin was going to add a second gable to create more room on the second floor. Speculation at the time was that Martin wanted to make it his residence.
The historic folks said no even though the cottage is basically surrounded by the library, arguably the most attractive ultra-modern building downtown, on one side and the Sixth Avenue parking deck, arguably the ugliest, on the other. Hence, there it sits and with developer Martin now tangled up in bankruptcy proceedings could well stay that way for years to come ... or even ultimately be torn down and erased.
Alas, bureaucracy often reaps what it sows while mostly punishing citizens in the process. One would have to be blind in the first place not to recognize the little cottage’s charm and potential. Which may have well been the case, as the historic review folks have never been noted for their vision.