Owner's empty lot could be new home for the Bakotich house

Historic house could be saved by moving it across town

The city's second oldest home may have a savior in Ellyn Berner, who was thinking about selling her vacant lot on Pettis Avenue before she opened the Mountain View Voice last week.

Berner had been dreaming of building a house on her empty lot before she got stuck when the economy went south. But she may have found the perfect solution.

As reported last week, the "Bakotich house," possibly the city's second oldest home, may have to be moved from its current address at 445 Calderon Avenue to make way for a senior housing development. In an e-mail Friday, Berner made her interest known in moving the house onto her empty lot.

"I have an empty lot that could accommodate the house!" she wrote, adding that she had "been in love" with the Bakotich property for many years" and had "dreamt of buying the lot and restoring the house and trees to their original glory, but money, of course, was my gating item."

The asking price for the property was $3.2 million.

In the meantime, Berner purchased the empty lot at the corner of Pettis and Snow streets. Berner planned to build a home there before she got stuck when the economy crashed.

"So now I have an empty lot and may have to sell it," Berner wrote. "But tonight I read your article and believe this is a perfect opportunity for the city to preserve this house and we can put it on my empty lot."

Driving Berner's interest is a "love of old things." The Bakotich house wouldn't be the first old thing she's restored -- she said she used to restore vintage motorcycles.

The Bakotich house is owned by a group of seniors led by Susan and David Burwen who would like to move the 1880s Bakotich house off the 1.3 acre lot to make way for a communal housing project for 19 senior households. Building the project around the house would reduce the size of the project and spread a higher cost among buyers.

Berner has been corresponding by e-mail with Susan Burwen about moving the home. There are many obstacles, some not yet fully examined, that could stand in the way of moving the house to Berner's lot. The affordability of moving and restoring the home and whether the city will support the move are all up in the air to some degree.


Like this comment
Posted by Carla Dimond
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jun 21, 2010 at 2:45 pm

This certainly sounds like a win/win if it can happen

Like this comment
Posted by JP
a resident of Jackson Park
on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:34 pm

An encouraging story of how the Voice connects people in the community!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

The Saddle Room – A True Friend of Kids
By Laura Stec | 2 comments | 2,055 views

Palo Alto: Pastis owner to open second French restaurant
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 1,202 views

The Four E's--Pope Francis and the Middle Class
By Steve Levy | 3 comments | 934 views

My College Mindset is Intrinsically Motivated
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 796 views

Radical Acceptance
By Caroline Fleck | 0 comments | 244 views