HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – The future of a historic house in Howland is being threatened by the construction of a new intersection. On Thursday, it was decided that the home on Route 46 will be demolished in the name of progress.
The people in Howland call it the Yellow House because it’s painted yellow. Officially, it’s called the E.N. Brown House after one of its past owners.
On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Transportation announced the house will be demolished to make room for the new Diverging Diamond intersection that’s going to be built where routes 46 and 82 come together.
There was an effort to save the house but in the end, ODOT determined it couldn’t be done.
The house is currently used by the Howland Historical Society. It was built in the 1830s and is the oldest house in Howland. It has sat on the exact same spot ever since it was built and a lot of it is original.
ODOT offered to move it within a mile south, but the owner of the house, Niles realtor Jason Altobelli, and the Howland Historical Society were unable to come to an agreement that would enable the Historical Society to take ownership, according to ODOT. The only option at this point is to demolish the house because it is in the way.
“We understand how important this house is for Howland and the Warren-Youngstown area, but we need to move forward with this safety project and demolish the house for our Diverging Diamond interchange project,” said ODOT’s Ray Marsch.
Cindee Mines, a member of the Howland Historical Society’s board, said last week that “it would be nice to somehow save it, and keeping on the original lot makes it more of a historical value.”
But today, she released a statement saying, “We are saddened and disappointed that all parties involved could not work something out to save the Yellow House. The Howland Historical Society will continue to try and find a solution to save the Yellow House.”
“So, anytime ODOT can preserve history, we certainly try our best to do so. In this case, we’ve been fully transparent with the Howland Historical Society that since the start of this project, something needs to be done in accordance with this house and this project,” Marsch said.
ODOT will now work with the Historical Society on a way to honor the site.
“Once we have a few good ideas, what we’re going to do is reach out to the Howland Historical Society and present our ideas with them,” Marsch said.
Construction of the Diverging Diamond interchange traffic pattern will begin in 2023.
No date has been set yet on when the Yellow House will be torn down.