- Associated Press - Monday, March 11, 2019

DETROIT (AP) - Preservationists are angry that the Detroit Land Bank Authority demolished a log cabin just outside the city despite plans to relocate the structure, which may have been built before the Civil War.

The authority tore down the cabin in Hamtramck on Feb. 22, The Detroit News reported.

The structure was hidden by a house built around it, said Krysta Ryzewski, an associate professor of archaeology at Wayne State University who received a tip about the cabin last year. The cabin was unusual because of hand-painted floral stenciled wallpaper found in the interior, she said.

“It means this was not just your ramshackle expedient lean-to,” Ryzewski said. “It was a home someone took a lot of care to build.”

Greg Kowalski, the chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Museum, had hoped to relocate the cabin to a park in front of City Hall. He said the piece of history was “treated like a piece of garbage” by demolishing it.



“We did all this work,” Kowalski said. “They just went ahead and demolished it right out from under our noses.”

The land bank favors historical preservation but was following procedure, said Alyssa Strickland, a spokeswoman for the land bank. The preservationists’ plans for the cabin were incomplete and the authority was protecting taxpayer investments, she said.

The property could’ve been removed from the demolition list if preservationists had reached out about the potential relocation sooner, Strickland said. The house that concealed the original cabin has been on the demolition list for nearly three years.

The land bank had spent around $10,000 on the site on surveys and abatements, Strickland said.

“Without a way to recoup that significant cost or time spent,” she said, “it would be a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

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Information from: The Detroit News, http://detnews.com/

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