Wells Sherman House relocation delayed

Brandon Koziol

After a legal battle to avoid demolition led to the historic Kent Wells Sherman house’s move being scheduled, the relocation has been delayed again.

“Everyone was ready – but, of course – it’s a complex project and all the utility companies have to be coordinated with,” said Roger Thurman, the vice chairperson of the Kent Wells Sherman House Incorporated.

The house was scheduled to move Saturday at 7 a.m. to its new location on 247 N. Water St.,but the relocation was cancelled because of a scheduling conflict with AT&T.

Blocking the entrance to the 1858 Greek Revival structure’s new home are AT&T overhead phone lines, said Eugene Roberts, director of public service for the city of Kent. After Kent State made the prepayment for AT&T to temporarily move the lines, no one involved realized the phone company needed two weeks to get a crew together.

“AT&T didn’t tell any of us through the process that they needed a two-week schedule time,” Roberts said. “It’s nobody’s fault, specifically; it’s just the way it is.”

The Kent Wells Sherman House is now set to move to its new location sometime in the middle of September, Thurman said. The historic home is currently on East College Avenue, resting on stilts – after it had to be relocated due to the University’s new Esplanade extension project.

“We’ve been fighting a year legally, so a two-week delay is nothing,” Thurman said. “What’s another couple of weeks; it’s really not much in the scale of things.”

Roberts explained the city and university are both contributing to move the house, which has served as student housing for the past 43 years.

“We’re able to sustain an old, old structure that has been with the city of Kent for over a century, and they’ll be able to restore it,” Roberts said. “Hopefully it will be repurposed for a good public use.”

Contact Brandon Koziol at [email protected]