The City of Auburn is considering options to preserve the historical Cullars house.
Located at 369 S. College Street, the house was built in the 1890s by the Cullars, a prominent family of the city.
"This house is a house that was built and had been lived in by a family that has been very meaningful to the city for hundreds of years,” Mayor Ron Anders said. “They were builders; they were part of the rich agricultural history that we have here as a community, and it’s one of a few [historical houses] that is still remaining.”
In the past, the Cullars house has been a residential home, a coffee shop, and for a while, it belonged to the University. Currently, it is leased by councilman Brett Smith as the location of his law firm.
“We’re coming to the end of our lease, and the property has been bought, purchased, and so the house is available," Smith said. "Apparently, the former owner, the person that sold the property, says if someone would like to move it, they can have the home. The current owner, the buyer, has no interest in keeping the home."
Smith and council member Beth Witten initiated discussion regarding the Cullars house.
“We’re really just interested in the public’s desire to protect the Cullars house, which is part of the development that will change the landscape of the area that it currently sits,” Witten said. “There’s been a lot of discussion about if the city can be a part of protecting the house [and] what those steps look like…we wanted to get the council’s consensus to give the city manager direction to have staff look at what it would actually take to move that house.”
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Witten mentioned a few possibilities for the house’s preservation, including a scenario in which the city moves it to a public piece of property. She said the city would rehab the house and make it an asset to the community. She also mentioned a potential partnership with a private entity.
“It would behoove us as a council, especially for the rich history our town has and that home does, to explore, to look at what that price would be, get some options, and bring it to the public," Smith said..
The council agreed that they should allow the city manager and staff to research those options.
“Time is short,” said City Manager James Buston. “We understand we need to get back to you as quickly as we can because I believe we need to make a decision by the end of September.”
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