Beaufort News

Historic Review Board: Dilapidated Beaufort house can be demolished

A dilapidated home is shown here on the corner of Duke and Monson Streets in Beaufort. The house was at the center of a debate between preservationists, who wanted the home restored, and the home's owner, Jim Moss, who made a request to demolish it.
A dilapidated home is shown here on the corner of Duke and Monson Streets in Beaufort. The house was at the center of a debate between preservationists, who wanted the home restored, and the home's owner, Jim Moss, who made a request to demolish it. Sarah Welliver

A Beaufort committee and historic foundation have relented and given a property owner permission to tear down a decaying home on the corner of Monson and Duke streets.

The decision hinged on the historic value of the house at 1411 Duke St. owned by attorney Jim Moss.

The Historic Review Board denied Moss's first request to demolish the home, in 2010. Moss renewed his request earlier this month, but the city of Beaufort's Historic District Review Board delayed a decision until the home's historic value could be determined by the Historic Beaufort Foundation. The foundation initially argued the structure should be preserved.

At issue was whether the home was built in the 1920s or '40s and whether it could be restored.

Moss has said the structure has rotted and is beyond repair.

On Friday, Maxine Lutz, the foundation's interim director, reported that the house was built in the 1940s and was "very poorly constructed."

"We won't stand in the way of the demolition," Lutz said.

The review board then voted unanimously to allow the demolition.

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

His next step is to obtain demolition permits from the city. He said he plans to tear down the building "very soon."

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