VERNON — The city has taken possession of the house at 19 Park Street, with plans to demolish the structure across from the Upper Courthouse and next to the United Bank building.
On February 1, the city council approved spending of up to $78,000 to secure and demolish the building. A contract has yet to be awarded, but the city expects a demolition crew to level the structure in the coming weeks.
Once the building is demolished, city officials plan to include the parcel in their plan to revitalize the Citizens Block neighborhood in downtown Rockville.
City administrator Michael Purcaro said the city took possession from owner Schaefer Griffin, who bought it on May 20, 2019 with the stipulation that previous owner Allan Kabrick was allowed to continue to operate. live there, without rent.
Kabrick owned the building for many years, running two businesses on the first floor with his late wife, Marie.
When Griffin failed to pay property taxes on the home, the property defaulted to Kabrick as owner on February 18, 2020, with a market value of $44,805. According to online tax records, over $20,000 was owed in taxes and fees on the property at the time.
The house has been vacant for more than a year and in recent years has fallen into disrepair, city officials said.
Since taking possession, the municipality has secured it by barricading the windows. However, Purcaro said the city was not looking to restore the property and wanted it razed.
The city worked with the long-retired Kabrick to move his most prized possessions out of the house. In the past, he operated a popular music store there called Kabrick’s Music Store. His wife also ran a home business, Marie’s Beauty Parlor.
The music store contained a piano that Kabrick’s mother taught him to play as a child, Purcaro said.
The city moved the piano to the nearby Elks Club at 9 N. Park St., where Kabrick is still a member. He has friends who drive him there to play on his now donated instrument.
The Vernon Historical Society plans to collect the most important artifacts from the two businesses that Kabrick and his late wife ran, said Jean Luddy, director of the Vernon Historical Society.
Small items, such as pictures and photographs, are collected and stored, she said. They are related to the history of the city and she plans to use them in future research.
The Historical Society also examines the more important elements. They will identify and determine if there is historical value that could be added to their collection.
This will “preserve the rich history of the place,” Purcaro said.
Deidre Montague covers the towns of Vernon and Stafford.