Demolition under way at Duke Street house in Beaufort

emoody@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 1, 2013 

Demolition of the house owned by Jim Moss on Duke Street in Beaufort began on Wednesday. Various items from the home such as the tin roof and cedar wood are going to be recycled.

DELAYNA EARLEY, THE BEAUFORT GAZETTE

After several years of fighting to demolish a decaying building in Beaufort's downtown historic district, attorney Jim Moss has been granted permission by the city and is moving fast.

The Historic District Review Board approved Moss' request Jan. 25.

Work to tear down the house at 1411 Duke St., started Wednesday, and it is expected to be finished early next week.

Not all of the house will be destroyed. Some of the wood and its tin roof are going to the soon-to-open Buck Bass and Beyond in Beaufort Town Center, according to B.J. Adams and Jim Moss Jr., who are performing the demolition. The tin will be used in the store's indoor archery range, Moss Jr. said.

Adams said most of the scrap metal already has been removed by scavengers. A man was seen riding away Thursday with an old air conditioner strapped to his bike.

Historic preservationists opposed Moss' first request for demolition in 2010. However, after further inspection last month Maxine Lutz, interim director of the Historic Beaufort Foundation, said her organization would no longer oppose it because the house lacked historical significance.

Moss bought the house in 2007 for $206,000 as part of a group called Beaufort Six. He plans to build several two-story buildings, with commercial space on the first floors and apartments on the second floors.

In other changes about town:

  • Five giant tortoises are visiting with their owner, Randy "The Turtle Man" Gallagher of Sunset Beach, N.C. Gallagher said he rescues "any wild animal without fur," mostly tortoises and snakes. He said he travels the country educating children and adults about the animals.

  • Gallagher and his tortoises have been spotted all over Beaufort, usually surrounded by children who want to pet or even ride the animals. He said he planned to be in town until at least Monday.

  • Steamer Oyster and Steakhouse, 168 Sea Island Parkway, reopened Friday after several weeks of being closed. Details were not immediately available.

  • Related content

    1. Historic Review Board: Dilapidated Beaufort house can be demolished, Jan. 25, 2013
    2. Owner, preservationists at odds over future of decaying residence, Jan. 13, 2013

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