Excavation for Wells Sherman House location begins after final court ruling



Jessica White

Onlookers watch as the Stein Moving company pulls the Wells Sherman House over the curb on Haymaker Parkway to a gravel lot at the west end of College Ave on August 11, 2012. The house was moved there to make way for the Esplanade expansion construction to get underway. Photo by Matt Hafley.

Workers are moving dirt to build a foundation for the historic Kent Wells Sherman House after the end of an 11-month battle over its relocation.

A Portage County judge ruled in favor of moving the century-old Greek Revival structure to the disputed-over lot at 247 N. Water St.

The house could move as soon as late August.

Portage County magistrate Kent Graham’s ruled in favor of the organizations working to preserve the house — Kent Wells Sherman House Inc., the Kent Planning Commission and Kent Architectural Review Board — over a protesting citizen group, Save the Standing Rock Garden.

Several plaintiffs representing Save the Standing Rock Garden filed an initial claim in October to prevent the house from moving to the lot, which was used by Standing Rock Cultural Arts members for play rehearsals, gardening and arts activities.

The plaintiffs said moving the house would disturb the garden, limit the activities of the arts group and block the view of Edwin George’s mural on the neighboring Scribbles Coffee Company building.

But Graham dismissed the claims, saying those arguments did not provide enough evidence to prevent the move to the lot, which Kent Wells Sherman House Inc. owns.

“The flora on the lot is not unusual, uncommon, rare or endangered,” Graham wrote in his ruling. “The mural is easily viewed from the sidewalk.”

Contact Jessica White at [email protected].