Durangos Historic Preservation Board approved the demolition of the 19th-century dwelling next to the Day House at a meeting Wednesday night.
Mike Williamson, who bought the Day House and adjacent structures in September for $400,000, requested the demolition, which was granted on the condition that he rebuild a structure of the same historical spirit in its place.
Moving or renovating the structure would take a lot more work and money than it would to rebuild a similar structure, said Williamson, who is planning to complete renovations and move into the Day House with his family by late summer.
Its one of the harder issues weve dealt with for some time, said Robert McDaniel, former director of the Animas Museum and member of the board.
McDaniel was reluctant to vote for demolition, he said, as the goal of the board is to preserve historic structures.
However, McDaniel said moving or renovating the two-story structure, built sometime between 1890 and 1893, is not practical.
It doesnt make sense to move the structure while a lot of it has to be redone, Williamson said.
Williamson and his agent, Tracy Reynolds, said the structure needs to have siding, windows and roofing replaced. Moving the structure would cost about $10,000.
The house and its adjacent structure at 15th Street, Florida Road and the end of East Third Avenue were vacant and neglected for more than a decade.
Because the property is located in the East Third Avenue Historic District, Williamson needs the citys approval for his final project design.
Williamson and Reynolds will present their new project plan to the board at its March 23 meeting.
Although a demolition date has not yet been set, Williamson said the historic structure is available free of charge.
If they can come take it away, its theirs, he said.
Williamson grew interested in purchasing the house after watching a slide show about one of Durangos most colorful characters, David Day, publisher of the Durango Democrat newspaper and Medal of Honor winner from his service as a Union scout in the Civil War.
According to the Colorado Historical Society, the houses significance stems from its association with Day, who owned it from 1892 to 1907.
Day was brought to the area from the Solid Muldoon newspaper in Ouray by Durango businessmen to start the Durango Democrat, a newspaper intended to counter the pro-Republican papers in town.
Frank Hartman started the Trades Journal. There was a shoot-out between Hartman and Day during which Hartman took a bullet through the calf of his leg.
In 1928, the Durango Democrat and the Herald merged and the paper was called the Herald-Democrat, which became The Durango Herald in 1960.
A previous version of this article gave an incorrect title for Robert McDaniel. He is the former director of the Animas Museum. The current director is Carolyn Bowra