OGDEN -- The owner of a fire-damaged historic home in Ogden is asking Mayor Matthew Godfrey to abandon plans by the city to have the dwelling demolished.
Aaron A. Mueller, an official with Boulder Creek Townhomes LLC, sent an e-mail to Godfrey on Friday seeking a reprieve from the wrecking ball for the 128-year-old Allen Stout home, 885 12th St.
Mueller said in the e-mail obtained by the Standard-Examiner that he intends to work with the Ogden Landmarks Commission and the Utah Heritage Foundation in developing a plan to save the structure.
Ron Atencio, chairman of the Landmarks Commission, said he may form a citizens committee to spearhead fundraising efforts to restore the house, which has been vacant for at least two decades.
"This is an important development and milestone for preservation in Ogden," Atencio said in an e-mail to the Standard-Examiner. "There is much to do, but with everyone working together along with the support of our community, I feel confident we can make this happen."
In addition, Kirk Huffaker, executive director of the Utah Heritage Foundation, said in a letter to Godfrey there may be state and federal funds available for emergency stabilization of the home.
Godfrey had imposed a Friday deadline for Mueller to submit a letter of intent to preserve the house, said Alene Evans, the city's code enforcement supervisor.
Godfrey said he wants to talk to Mueller to explain what Mueller must do to stop demolition. "I need to help him understand what he needs to do at this point," the mayor said.
The city is still proceeding with getting bids from demolition companies, Evans said. It's possible that Mueller could block the demolition by submitting a detailed restoration proposal to the city's planning department and obtaining a building permit, she said.
The Stout home, which is listed on the Ogden Register of Historic Resources, sustained significant damages in a September fire set by juveniles. Another blaze was lit at the house late last year.
Steve Cornell, who works for Cooper Roberts Simonsen Associates, a Salt Lake City-based architectural firm, has inspected the home at the request of the Landmarks Commission and has determined the structure can be saved.
Mueller has said he's hopeful the 2,000-square-foot house can be restored in conjunction with Boulder Creek's plans to build resort-style townhouses on part of the two-acre parcel where the dwelling now sits. He also wants stucco removed from the exterior of the house so the original brick facade can be restored.
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.