Supporters Ponder How to Save Old Okemos House

Sep 19, 2012

Some supporters of an historic home in Okemos are considering a last-minute fund-raising effort to save it from demolition.

The foreclosed ex-owner of the 'Smiley House' says the 140 year old structure near the intersection of Okemos and Hamilton roads is on the Michigan Historic Register. Tuesday night, Meridian Township officials approved plans for a new, three-story mixed use development on the site.

Township Trustee Brett Dreyfus thinks at least $100-thousand is needed to strengthen and move the house.  He says the prospective owners are willing to give it away, but they won't delay demolition indefinitely.

"They would be happy to have someone come in and basically just take it off their property and show that they weren't wanting to actually destroy, raze the building," he says. "That they really did want to save the building, they just didn't want to spend any money themselves to do it."

Supporters would also need to find a new location for the house.