A home in Omaha's historic Dundee neighborhood was torn down Saturday morning.
The owner told WOWT 6 News Fact Finders that repairs would be too expensive, but the resident next door sees a neighborhood loss that goes beyond money. “I'm not a big fan of destroying beautiful old homes in Dundee,” said neighbor Larry Goldstrom. “A lot of people buy homes in this neighborhood, fix them up and preserve them."
A crowd stood by as the bulldozers came in. The house had been a rental for several years before being vacated. The owner said the foundation was severely cracked and bulging. City code enforcement said the property owner has followed all the rules, from marking and disconnecting utilities. A demo permit was approved Thursday afternoon.
The owner plans to replace the house with green space. "If we want green space in this neighborhood all we need to do is look out our front door and see the most beautiful green space in town, Memorial Park," said Larry.
"There’s nothing legally anybody can do to stop it, but it would be nice to know so maybe somebody would step forward and say I’ll give you more for that house if you let me keep it," said Dan Schinzel.
The owner had the legal right to demolish the house and replace it with green space appealing to the neighborhood, but Larry said he'd rather see a home next door than a neighbor’s bigger back yard. "A wrecking ball is going to feel like a punch in the stomach."
The house value listed by the county assessor was $250,000. Owner Tyler Owen did contact several neighbors to explain his concern with the soundness of the structure.