Inside Look at "Cottage in the Woods"
Palmer/Forks Patch.com gets exclusive tour inside controversial Forks Township building.
From the outside, it looks like a perfect home to settle in for long winter nights or summer on hot days with barbecues and long walks in the wilds.
As Forks Township Public Works Director Mark Roberts Wednesday shows Palmer/Forks Patch.com around the cottage during an exclusive tour, there's plenty of evidence to support arguments for spending about $9,000 to demolish the township-owned site.
But, with its stone-and-wood features and setting surrounded by tall trees off the busy road, there's also reason why organizations like the Forks Area Art Society and historical society have started a rallying cry to spare the home from the wrecking ball.
Right now, the Forks Township Board of Supervisors is holding off deciding the fate of the property. Officials are even holding off developers, trying to give the newly formed "Save the Cottage" Committee time to raise $23,000 to refurbish the home for future use.
Only a handful of people besides Roberts have seen the inside of the cottage, including Township Manager John Cornell and Supervisors Chairman Erik Chuss.
Members of the "Save the Cottage" Committee have also taken a tour of the home, which has heat and electricity running, Roberts said.
The home features a living room and dining room on the first level with a kitchen set off by a sunroom in the back. Upstairs is a bathroom and a bedroom.
"It's not a bad little house," Roberts said.
The 60-plus-year-old home has been vacant for two years after serving as a rental, Roberts said. But lately it's had some visitors.
Roberts said some vandalism has happened in which the living room window was shattered and the back door was broken into.
He was also awaiting visitors Wednesday from a company that was going to determine the cottage's mold content.
"They are going to take samples and evaluate," he said. "Then, we'll go from there."
Signs of mold are everywhere. Robert shows it coming off a stone fireplace and wooded panel in the sunroom and along the upstairs. In the basement, it's all over.
"It's kinda nasty down here," he said.
Outside, Roberts shows off the grounds, pointing out how cracks are running up a side wall.
"It's a nice setting, real attractive," he said.
But will the cottage's charm be enough to save it? Only time will tell.