OGDEN -- The head of Ogden's Landmarks Commission is hoping to organize a fundraising effort to save a fire-damaged historic home from a date with the wrecking ball next month.
The 128-year-old Allen Stout home, 885 12th St., is worth restoring because its unique architecture harkens back to Ogden's pioneer heritage, Ron Atencio, chairman of the Landmarks Commission, said.
"The Landmarks Commission's job is to preserve historic buildings," he said. "I'm going to fight to make sure that everything is done to protect it."
A citizen committee may be formed to spearhead fundraising to restore the house that's been vacant for more than two decades, Atencio said, adding the dwelling would be ideal as a bed-and-breakfast or reception center.
The house, which is listed on the Ogden Register of Historic Resources, sustained significant damage Sept. 9 from a fire set by juveniles. Another blaze was lit at the house several weeks ago, said Matt Schwenk, the city's fire marshal.
John Saunders, the city building official, has determined that the house poses a public hazard and should be torn down.
Mayor Matthew Godfrey has stayed demolition until Jan. 15, giving Atencio time to come up with a plan to save the house.
Godfrey said he is concerned about extending the stay on the demolition because the house poses a safety hazard, but he is willing to consider a preservation proposal.
"I'm walking the line the best I can and will see what happens," he said.
Atencio plans to meet with Godfrey this week to discuss the Allen Stout home.
Steve Cornell, who works for Cooper Roberts Simonsen Associates, a Salt Lake City-based architectural firm, inspected the home last week at the request of the Landmarks Commission.
Although the house has some interior fire damage, it is structurally intact and can be restored, Cornell said. "It's definitely not a throwaway building," he added.
Aaron A. Mueller, an official with Boulder Creek Townhomes LLC, which owns the house, said the company has no immediate plans for the dwelling. However, resort-style townhouses could eventually be built on the two-acre parcel where the 2,000-square-foot house now sits, Mueller said.
Mueller doesn't think Atencio's committee would be able to secure at least $250,000 necessary to restore the house.
"I'm not optimistic in this (economic) environment they would be able to raise funds to do anything," he said.
The house was built in 1882 by Allen Joseph Stout Jr., a nephew of Hosea Stout, an early Utah settler and general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The structure is architecturally significant because of its so-called "I" house design with chimneys located at the two end walls, states a Landmarks Commission report.