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Church Hill house faces demolition; area residents push for renovation

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RICHMOND, Va.-- A house built in the 1850's has stood the test of time in the Church Hill neighborhood and is now on the verge of collapse. Unless a private source comes forward with funds to renovate the property, the city will soon demolish the historic building.

With renovation costs likely to exceed $10,000, the Historic Richmond Foundation is working with the city to find an alternative to preserve the house.

"I certainly feel like this building could be saved and brought back on the tax rolls," said Amy Swartz of Historic Richmond Foundation.

After a close inspection of the property last week, the building is facing severe damages.

"If you are facing the home, on the left side, the bearing walls in the rear, are collapsing," said Doug Murrow, Commissioner of Buildings.

Although neighbors have mixed feelings about the home, Barbara Terry, who has lived in Church Hill for 33 years, wants to see it saved.

"I would love to see something happen to it other than tear it down," said Terry. "That's like throwing away a book."

Still, the city is concerned the building poses safety issues.

"It's in imminent danger of collapse," said Murrow.

Until the Historic Richmond Foundation and the City come to an agreement, the house will come down in the next few weeks.