UTICA — Driving down South Central Avenue, one might be curious enough to ask why the house at address 53 is scheduled for demolition. For some time the owners, Carmel and Linda Oiler, have wanted to tear it down and build a parking lot.
Built in 1863, the Oilers bought the house in 1974 from the McCann family. To the eye of a novice, the outside appearance may seem historic, but the Oilers say that with so much renovation needed, the price will be costly. The expected cost is $100,000.
“We have no intentions on fixing it up; it’s just too much money,” said Linda Oiler.
“If we had places for people to park for a rental we might have considered renting it, but not when there is no place for people to park,” she said. “There are three bedrooms on the second floor and another three on the third, and even if you were to rent it to someone, you would have to rent it to a big family.”
The house is located directly behind the Oilers’ meat processing business. With limited parking on the street for their business, they see demolition as a means to fulfill a need for parking.
When the Oilers purchased the property, it was occupied by relatives for a few years, but has had no other inhabitants since then. Oiler said that with no one living in the house for 32 years, major work needs to be done.
“I know there used to be a porch that came out on the second story from a bedroom upstairs,” said Oiler. “Since then, that porch has been closed in and made into a bathroom. The roof has been leaking since we bought it, and there is a hole from the third story all the way to the basement, right down through the middle of the house. So it’s not [really] fixable, and if so, it’s a lot of money.”