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                                                      Slated for demolition on August 03, 2011  October 15, 2011
Located at 1601 Rockland Road Wilmington, Delaware 19803


       A meeting was held at the home of Susan and Larry Hoover in Wilmington for all citizens concerned about the Murphy House demolition threatened by Nemours in three weeks.


Five elected officials were represented:

New Castle County Councilman Bob Weiner attended.
New Castle County Councilman John Cartier attended.
New Castle County Councilman Tom Kovach sent aide Grant Firestone
Delaware State Senator Michael Katz attended.
Delaware State Representative Debra Heffernan attended.

The Delaware Department of Transportation sent policy maker Brett Taylor.

Also present from the citizenry were:
Paul Bechly
Bob Valihura
Dee Durham
Mark Chura of Delaware Greenways
Christine Thomas of Delaware Greenways

Michael Falstad of John Milner Associates
Mary Sue Boyle
Larry Hoover
Susan Hoover
Eric Hoover
Jason Hoover
Sarah Hoover

Dan Griffin and Terry Graham of Preservation Delaware had a board meeting at the same time and could not attend.

Delaware State Representative Greg Lavelle stated that he could not attend.

Gov Markell's office responded and noted that they were sending Brett Taylor.
Lt. Gov Matt Denn's office sent their regrets.
No response from either of our US Senators or US Congressman or their staff.
A few other citizens from the Facebook group sent their regrets and support.


       The meeting started with socializing then started promptly at 5:00 PM. The first presentation was by Mark Chura of the Delaware Greenways outlining a viable plan to use the house as a trail head and a bike barn. Among other uses, parents and children of AI patients could walk across the street and grab a bike and take a ride along the Greenways trail which goes right through the Murphy House. The project would be done in two stages: first to stabilize the building and make the exterior pristine, then to use the first floor only ( the major expense is in creating access to the second floor), eventually using the building as a coffee shop (they already have a viable interested business person), bus stop, and other community uses. Mr. Chura's plan is written out and ready to present to Nemours.

       The elected officials all acknowledged support for this idea and will follow up with signatures on a petition to Secretary Bhatt of the Department of Transportation.

       Brett Taylor, policy maker for the Department of Transportation, representing Secretary Shailen Bhatt answered questions and comments from the floor. He stated DelDOT's position which was that they are not taking the lead role in this to enforce the deed restrictions set forth by DelDOT when the property was transferred to Nemours for the sum of $10 (ten dollars). He said they realize that they make take heat about this, especially in light of recent land deal scandals made by DelDOT during the Minner administration. He stated that the policy has not yet been solidified and is still under consideration and DelDOT may help out our cause.

       Michael Falstad, an architect with John Milner Associates presented their study titled "Feasibility Study for the Stabilization of Historic Structures" done eleven years ago (April, 2000) for the assessment of three buildings including the Murphy House,  when the whole A-Z bypass was being planned. Chapter two of the  document provides a description and cost estimates for the Murphy House. The total to stabilize it then was estimated to be $79,175.00. Mr. Falstad pledged support of our efforts and will assist in presentation drawings for the Greenways plan.

       Bob Valihura, who is an attorney, discussed with the group the legal aspects of the deed restrictions and filing to enforce.

       Roseanne Fogarty, owner of Hockessin based Every Day Artists contacted me about making use of the Murphy House as an art therapy building. She suggested the Art For Life Foundation which sets up and funds these ventures. She would be willing to take the lead on this. This would be a winning situation for Nemours, the community, and the patients of Nemours.

                                                                          Download Word Version


 Meeting date:  Wednesday September 21, 2011 at 4:30 PM.  Endurance: about two hours.

Friendly and social, refreshments served.

Discuss viable uses for the house.
- present coffee house plan.
- what non profits can we contact?
- who else may be interested?
- discuss parking, access, and zoning problems and how to overcome them.
- preserve in stages? Renovate exterior, stabilize interior, then redo interior later.

Sources of funding.
- national and local historic preservation groups.
- federal funds.
- state funds.
- Nemours.
- philanthropists.

Publicity is our best defense against Nemours. Money is not a major object for them,

but they deplore negative publicity. How can we make them sensitive to this?
- reporters and news articles
- website and Facebook groups
- get as many local and state and federal politicians involved as possible, this creates visibility.

Who has pull with any of the senators, representatives, and other public figures,
etc, that can encourage them to join with us?

DelDOT's Role.
DelDOT seems to be the key player in enforcing the deed restrictions and covenants.

What action can we take to get them more involved?
- Sec of Transportation Shailen Bhatt seems interested, but he needs more encouragement.

Legal Action.
Last ditch effort: legal action. Do we have anyone lined up who can file at the 11th hour?

What needs to be done in this area?

Can we encourage Nemours to return the property to the state? Can we get the state to accept it?