Historic house comes down: Preservationists lose battle to save 1790 building

The house at 250 Gulf Street was being dismantled Monday.
The house at 250 Gulf Street was being dismantled Monday.

An historic house on Gulf Street was demolished this week.

The house was expected to be demolished last week, but the owners were waiting for a demolition permit to be approved.

The home is the Elijah Bryan House, built about 1790, and located at 250 Gulf Street. The current owner applied for a demolition permit in June, and Milford’s city historian imposed a 90-day delay on the demolition, which provided a short window of time for concerned parties to seek out alternative solutions, such as finding a buyer for the house.

Former City Historian Richard Platt said the house was significant because of its architecture, which is a Dutch half gambrel, similar to the Sanford-Bristol house on North Street that was saved from demolition at the beginning of the year.

“It’s one of six historically significant houses in Milford,” Platt said. “Three of them are on Gulf Street.”

According to city records, the house was owned by the late Donald and June Poland. A demolition sign in front of the house noted that it is owned by the couple’s son, Lance Poland, who has not yet been reached for comment.

Milford preservationists had been trying to save the house. Sources said the preservationists recently raised more than $200,000 in 24 hours, with the understanding that the owners might sell for that price. The deal fell through, though.

Platt said he planned to avoid Gulf Street because he didn’t want to see the house coming down.

He hopes the family will give local preservationists or the historical society a piece of the house — something historic — to remain in city hands as a reminder of the historic building.

Michele Chesson Kramer, president of the Milford Preservation Trust, said, “The loss of the Elijah Bryan House is a loss for the entire city of Milford. This house withstood the American Revolution, the Civil War and countless storms. Ultimately what it could not withstand is indifference. Indifference, to history and heritage, is what the Milford Preservation Trust is trying to combat.”

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11 thoughts on “Historic house comes down: Preservationists lose battle to save 1790 building”

  1. This is very sad. I am grateful to the Milford Preservation Trust for all they did to try to save this property by attempting to offer reasonable alternatives to demolition. MPT is the only organization in Milford whose mission is to save our historic places and properties. They are a small group that needs your support. Please consider joining the Milford Preservation Trust at http://milfordpreservationtrust.org.

  2. Milford’s historical community is diverse with many being members of more than 1 organization. Some are merely informal social gatherings. One woman belongs to 6 history oriented groups. We often work together with others not directly part of our own organization. People should support the many fine organizations in Milford. I can’t speak officially for any of them. Everyone should tone down the denigrating of others whether they are part of another group or the owners of a piece of property. That applies privately, on the phone or using the press to emphasize differences.

  3. I disagree. On the contrary, there had barely been any credible or visible effort on the part of the owners to market / sell / save this home (why was there never a “for sale” on the front lawn?). And at least one credible offer had indeed been made in the final weeks, meeting the owners’ then stated requirements. That offer was then subsequently rejected by the owners. The owners showed no interest whatsoever in negotiating with several groups and individuals who’d been working very hard to save this irreplaceable Milford home.

  4. Guess what people, its not your property to decide what happens. City historian should be jailed for making the Polands wait 90 days.

  5. Guess what, JesusJimmy: The City Historian is legally empowered to do this, by municipal code. Maybe you ought to be jailed for getting up and going to work in the morning…

  6. The house had so much damage to it you guys just like to talk without even knowing. The previous owners were literally lucky they died of old age failures instead of the house caving in. Asbestos, termite damage, water damage and structural are just a few major things wrong with the house. The only tragedy here is how The Poland’s were treated, if you knew what that family had been through, I guarantee everything that everyone has said and done would be regretted and they’d have trouble sleeping at night. You just have no clue at all.

  7. Bye bye building!!!! Hahahaha…
    Apparently they weren’t able to do anything… But I hope u enjoy the empty lot…u can set up a drive in theater where we can watch the video of the building being demolished over n over…
    Winners: Poland’s, and Thanx Jesusjimmy
    Losers: All u fighting for saving this crap house!

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