Kildare Mansion to be torn down

Kildare Mansion to be torn down

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A local historic landmark will soon be gone.

After losing a battle with the Huntsville City Council over a fence, the owner of the Kildare Mansion, Dwight Wright, said he's gutting the house and selling its pieces.

Dwight Wright had a vision of renovating the Kildare Mansion

“It was going to be a lifetime goal, a lifetime dream to accomplish,” said Wright.

That dream was dashed when Huntsville City Council said he must take down the fence he is building on city property. The fence's purpose was to protect himself and his property.

“We've had a tremendous amount of problems with people harassing us, teenagers coming up here claiming the house is haunted, throw rocks at the house, yell obscenities," said Wright.

One of his former neighbors agreed with Wright.

“I left for the safety of my children,” said former neighbor, Mandie Hodges.

Hodges has three girls and said she moved away after one of her daughters asked what a certain cuss word meant after hearing a harasser yell it.

“We've been threatened. I’ve been called every cuss name I can think of,” said Hodges.

However, some neighbors didn't understand Wright's decision.

“It's a piece of history, why would you want to hide it behind a big fence?” said neighbor Chad Riding.

Riding said it's a safety issue. With the fence built so close to the street, there's no place to walk when there's oncoming traffic.

“It is an eyesore," said Riding. "It matches nothing in this neighborhood.”

Last year. the city council approved Wright's request for the fence, but they said Wright gave them the wrong impression on how tall the fence would be.

“We tried to work through that, but we weren't able to,” said Wright.

During negotiations, the council said he could build a smaller fence, but they wanted the right to be able to take down the fence whenever they wanted.

“The minute I get it finished someone could say we want it down and I don't think anyone would take that on," said Wright. "I don't think there’s anyone who would take that on. Who builds something knowing there’s no guarantee it would stay?”

The mansion that stood on Kildare street since the 1800s will soon be ripped apart according to Wright.

“That house is worth more in pieces then it was or ever would be sitting where it's sitting now,” said Wright.

The Huntsville City Council gave Wright 60 days to take down the security fence.

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