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One of Manatee County's most historic homes could soon see demolition

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BRADENTON, FL (WWSB) - The home built by Charles Covington and his sons more than a hundred years ago on 11th Avenue West in Bradenton has certainly seen better days.  It is known as Manatee County's oldest home built by an African American, and unless something drastic happens it's scheduled to come down in the near future.

"I can only call this a travesty," said Rodney Jones, a leader of a former nonprofit that owned the home.  "That the potential to lose the home is here with having all the historic presence that it has here in Manatee County."

Back in August, the city of Bradenton decided that this home needs to be demolished saying that the structure is now dangerous.  Rodney Jones says this rundown structure has become a place for drug activity, vandalism and a spot where the homeless will camp out.

"Something so beautiful and historic has found it's way to become somewhat of a community nuisance in a way," said Jones.

For a lot of folks who live in the neighborhood, they would hate to see it go because it's a home that's been such an important part of their neighborhood.

"I think they should rebuilt it, they should fix it up," said Samuel "JJ" Oakley, a resident who lives near the home.

An historic grand oak tree also sits on the property where the roots have affected the foundation of the home, so cost to restore it would run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  The artifacts and antiques that were inside were removed and the home was gutted.  Jones says it was too costly to bring the home back to life.  He tells us that he's still hopeful that it can be saved.

"They hope to at least get an historic marker here on the site denoting the home," said Jones.  "But if there's somebody with some deep pockets out there or an organization looking for a project, standing behind is one we'd love to have someone take on."

A demolition date for this home has yet to be set.  Noone from the city of Bradenton could be reached for a comment.