MANATEE -- Although a permit has been requested for demolition of one of Manatee County's oldest houses, officials have not yet granted permission to take it down.
Venture Construction of Tampa has applied for a demolition permit to tear down the gracious, 118-year-old "Beth Salem" house, 3004 53rd Ave. E., but the company is still awaiting county approval, said Karen Windon, deputy county administrator.
Owners of the house have been searching for someone to buy the old home, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places since 1995, and move it to another site. "As far as I know, the old house is still standing," said Andy Reasoner of the Reasoner Family Partnership Ltd. earlier this week.
The family sold the land under the house for a new RaceTrac Market.
The Florida Victorian-style house was the first with indoor plumbing in Southwest Florida, and also among the first with a telephone. When it was built, its phone number was "7." It sheltered Reasoner family members for decades, and served as their place of business -- they still operate the oldest nursery in Florida. Although as many as 50 people contacted the family about purchasing the house, priced at $95,000, it ever went any further, family members have said.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter@sarawrites.