Tuesday, November 21, 2017
News Roundup

Pieces of the past: Old Tarpon home gives up some gems before demolition

RECOMMENDED READING


TARPON SPRINGS

Joshua White finds new homes for old house parts. He runs Tampa Bay Salvage, a Tarpon Springs business he started a couple of years ago after leaving a similar family enterprise in New Jersey to move to Florida. For him, it's a spiritual calling. "I'm not a pastor or a surgeon," said White, 37. "But I do feel like we do a lot of good. We're tree huggers — part of the green movement. We save things for other people to enjoy."

White and his crew recently were called in to retrieve parts of what is known as the "Tsaveris House," located on Spring Bayou at 164 N Spring Blvd.

One found artifact, a triangular wooden sash window, was donated to the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society. Phyllis Kolianos, vice president of the organization, said she's not sure what they will do with the piece just yet, but hopes to show it off prominently.

"We're in a historic train depot; the idea is to have (the window) displayed in remembrance of the home that was there," she said. "It has a small 'T' on it from when the Tsaveris family lived in the home." She doesn't know when the Tsaveris family occupied the house, but believes it may have been prior to the 1950s.

Other items mined from the home have included scrolled Ionic columns, antique heart pine flooring, heart pine corbels, a Federal Revival-style door frame and an old fountain overflowing with character.

White says he has about 1,000 square feet of the home's flooring that he's selling for $4 a square foot.

"There's a big demand for reclaimed heart pine flooring," White said. "It's very hard. The boards were milled with really mature pine trees that were probably 100 years old or more. Today they harvest young pine trees so the flooring is much softer."

White opened his 4,000-square-foot store at 700 N Pinellas Ave. in August. It features all sorts of reclaimed architectural goodies, including stained glass windows, staircase spindles, tin ceiling tiles, porch railings, concrete balusters, wrought iron and nautical items.

The store is in an old sponge warehouse built in the 1930s.

"We brought it back to life," White said.

The house on Spring Boulevard won't be quite so lucky.

• • •

Located in the historic Golden Crescent area, the house was built circa 1890, though some records say 1910. It was a frame home, smaller than it is now, and originally constructed in the Florida vernacular style.

However, it was substantially modified over the years. Stucco covers its wooden frame, creating a sponge for moisture and mold. The roof line, porches and columns have been altered from the original. The Cracker look was replaced with Greek neoclassical, which stands in contrast with the surrounding homes, predominantly Queen Anne style.

The structure belongs to John and Wilma Byrnes, who bought it in 2004. Numerous attempts to reach the owners were unsuccessful, but earlier this year Byrnes told the Heritage Preservation Board that when he bought the home, he wasn't aware of its historic nature and wanted to replace it with a historic-looking structure.

Demolition had to be approved by the preservation board, since the home is located in an area that is part of the National Register Historic District. However, it is not identified as individually eligible for the National Register, according to a report by Tarpon Springs.

Experts said the house was too structurally and architecturally compromised to rehabilitate. It suffers from poor construction techniques and has serious foundation problems. Termites, mold and water intrusion are problematic and the electrical system is outdated and could be dangerous, they reported.

And, the cost of preservation would be far more than a renovated house would be worth, they said.

So the preservation board gave the couple approval to demolish the structure and construct a Queen Anne-style home compliant with the city's historic district design guidelines.

"There is some sadness in losing this historic structure, with understanding that it had changed significantly over time," said Kolianos of the Historical Society. "My hope is that the structure they put there will be compatible with and enhance the bayou area."

White feels he did his part with his salvage work.

"If I wouldn't have been involved in the reclamation, all this stuff would have been lost forever," he said.

Terri Bryce Reeves can be reached at [email protected]

     
Comments
Hometown Pasco for Nov. 24

Hometown Pasco for Nov. 24

We want your news! Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well do...
Updated: 10 hours ago

Call Missouri jinxed, but Michael Porter Jr. injury is its own story

Please repeat after me: There is no such thing as jinxes, hexes, ghosts or cartoonish black clouds looming with personalized curses for select targets.Honest.But, boy, are there coincidences — even if some say there is no such thing as those, either....
Updated: 4 hours ago
Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

Cambridge Christian’s Caleb Young makes up for lost season

TAMPA — For Cambridge Christian, last Friday’s Class 2A region final against Indian Rocks Christian represented a hurdle that the Lancers couldn’t quite clear a year ago. For one Lancer in particular, it was the Golden Eagles themselves that brought ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

Bucs journal: Defense struggling to get off the field on third and long

TAMPA — Third and long, normally an ideal situation for an NFL defense, continues to be a problem as the Bucs try to get opposing offenses off the field.In the second half of Sunday’s game, the Dolphins converted six third downs when they needed 8 ya...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

Bucs-Falcons: Has this former Buc become a pass-rushing force?

TAMPA — The Bucs face the defending NFC champions twice in their final six games. As they prepare to go to Atlanta on Sunday, former Tampa Bay first-round pick Adrian Clayborn is enjoying quite a two-week run.Clayborn, 29, had six sacks Nov. 12 in a ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA — It’s the biggest football game in USF history.It’s two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. It’s USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. It’s the best these two programs ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Chip Kelly is not the best candidate for Florida job

For the sake of a beleaguered and bedraggled fan base, here’s hoping Chip Kelly becomes the next head coach of the Florida Gators even though I think he’s not a great fit — culturally, geographically and philosophically — at UF.Gator Nation needs som...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Lane Kiffin knows speculation about his future grows with each victory

BOCA RATON — Lane Kiffin already knows what profession he will choose once his coaching career ends.Kiffin, in his first season at Florida Atlantic, thinks he is destined to join the sports-media ranks. It will provide him opportunity to switch roles...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Strong’s slip about UCF’s Griffin seen as motivation for Knights

Strong’s slip about UCF’s Griffin seen as motivation for Knights

TAMPA — While saying nothing to purposely fan the flames of the USF-UCF rivalry during his weekly news conference Tuesday, Bulls coach Charlie Strong provided fuel for the Knights’ best player.He used the H-word when discussing Knights senior outside...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Miami up to No. 2, behind Alabama, in College Football Playoff rankings

Miami up to No. 2, behind Alabama, in College Football Playoff rankings

Miami moved up to No. 2 behind Alabama in the College Football Playoff rankings released Tuesday night, with Clemson slipping one spot to three and Oklahoma holding at four. Wisconsin and Auburn remained next up behind the top four in a week when the...
Updated: 4 hours ago