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Is This $685K Crumbling Historic Facade Still Worth Saving?

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The Craigie House, built in 1911 to house the nation's second Daughters of the American Revolution chapter, has had a tough time. It's been neglected, chomped on by termites, crushed by a magnolia tree in the eighties, walloped by a hurricane in the nineties and purchased by what was essentially a real estate hoarding company that failed to perform any maintenance. But they built 'em tough in 1911. The structural equivalent of the Little Engine That Could managed to withstand all those hardships and was scooped up for $350,000 last March by a couple who intended to restore the tired old beauty. Before preservationists could even finish playing the second chorus of Elton John's "I'm Still Standing," the building was dealt a final blow by the one thing that no good Atlantan can withstand: winter weather. In February, the already crumbling brick antebellum-style house collapsed during a snow and ice storm, leaving only its striking, four-column facade. The determined owners claimed they would continue the project, but those plans fell through like a snow-capped roof.

The one remaining wall has just been put up for sale, along with the 0.16-acre lot on which it stands, for $685,000. Apparently, the goal is to wipe out any remaining self-esteem the poor little edifice might have left by offering its decaying corpse for $335,000 more than the previous owners paid just last year for the decrepit but four-walled building.

The sale raises so many questions: Are the facade and land worth $685,000? Does anyone still care about saving the remaining piece? And if not, what should go here? It's currently zoned residential.

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