CANFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Plans for a historical home in Canfield are the subject of debate between a developer who wants to demolish the building and the city’s Design Review Committee.
The developer wants to use the land to build houses, but his proposal has been denied by the Design Review Committee, citing the historic value of the home. The developer, Sam Pitzulo, said he is appealing that decision.
The Judson Canfield house sits back off of state Route 46, across from St. Michael Church in Canfield. The house was built around 1860 by Judson Canfield, the grandson of Canfield’s namesake, and it was moved to the city in the 1950s.
Pitzulo bought the house and the surrounding land and says saving the home would cost too much money, as it has fallen into disrepair. He would like to build 20 new homes in the location.
“The foundation is caving in on all four sides… We also have mold in the basement and throughout the house. The roof itself up above needs to be reframed from inside, because it won’t carry a weight load for today’s times…” Pitzulo said. “Aside from the bats; it’s infested with bats and all.”
Design Review Committee member Debbie Roman said the proposal is a double-edge sword. There is a need for more development in Canfield, she said, but she added that the city also needs to save its historic homes.
Canfield Zoning Inspector Mike Cook says efforts have been made to move the house, and Pitzulo said he would be willing to give the house to someone who would pay for moving expenses. Cook said although the house isn’t designated as a historical building by national records, the city recognizes it as such, due to its age.
“[Pitzulo]’s offered it to the Canfield Fairgrounds, but they don’t have the space for it. Historical Society does not have the money to take it. He called Canfield Township, but they haven’t offered to take it. Mill Creek Park, he’s offered them, and no one has come forward,” he said.
No one has lived in the home for 20 to 30 years. Pitzulo said moving the home would probably not be feasible, as the cost of moving and restoring it could be as high as $500,000.
Pitzulo said, ideally, he would like to give the house to someone who has the money to put into it. He said, so far, he hasn’t had much luck.
“I think best bet is we offer it to the fire department, let them use it for practice a few times, and then the remains go into a dumpster,” he said.
Pitzulo does plan to incorporate some of the house into what he is going to call the Founders Glenn Development. The road will be named after Judson Canfield, and one brick from the fireplace of the home will be the cornerstone of each of the houses, and some of the wood will be used to build the sign out front.