Clint Haggard with his father Rutledge Haggard, aunt Linda Haggard Brookshire, and cousin Jeff Lamun at the Collinwood House. Photo courtesy: Collinwood Consortium

Will the historic 1861 Collinwood house get a happy ending after all? Descendants of the Collinwood house’s original owners, the Haggard family, will save the city’s oldest home from demolition if a recently approved plan by the Plano City Council comes to fruition. The city council on Monday unanimously approved Haggard Enterprises’ bid to move Collinwood off the future site of a city park and take ownership of the troubled house that’s been on the verge of destruction.

The city will subsidize the Collinwood’s relocation, pitching in $250,000 in previously approved funds to move the home off the city’s property at the Dallas North Tollway and Windhaven Parkway, which is the future location of Windhaven Meadows park.

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Plano oldest home Collinwood

This 1861 Gothic revival in west Plano is the house-that-no-one-wants. Photo courtesy of Cody Neathery/Instagram.

I’m not speaking in hyperbole when I say they’re practically giving away this 3,200-square-foot home in far west Plano, located at 5400 Windhaven Parkway near the Dallas North Tollway. Admittedly it’s not move-in ready, but the Collinwood House’s motivated seller is throwing in a quarter of a million dollars to make sure this rustic beauty really moves. I should tell you that the Collinwood House, built in 1861, currently sits on a future city park site, so you’ll have to move it yourself. Not your belongings, but the actual house.

What sounds like a comic nightmare for a Realtor (or a professional stager) is the latest tumultuous chapter for the oldest-known home in Plano that’s become a money pit the city can’t shed.

In this latest stay of execution in May (one of many reprieves in recent years), Plano solicited proposals for taking ownership of the Collinwood House, offering the would-be owner $250,00 in budgeted city funds to properly relocate the home onto their own land, preferably somewhere in Plano. That’s better than deconstruction, or documenting materials as they are removed and demolished from the home, which has been on the table for years.

More than a dozen people showed up for the open house in mid-May, offering the public a rare glimpse at this relic. Haggard Enterprises (remember that name) submitted the only proposal bid, which has not yet been awarded, according to city documents on the public bid platform BidSync.

It seems the-house-that-no-one-wants remains in limbo, which means if Plano can’t find a qualified bidder, this 1860’s relic could soon be dismantled for scraps.

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Collinwood house

All photos courtesy of Plano Magazine. Photos by Jennifer Shertzer.

We recently told you about the precarious situation of the historic Collinwood House. It is the oldest structure still standing in the city of Plano, and it faced demolition to make way for a recreational pavilion in a new park being built by the city.

But after a community-based campaign to save this historically significant house, Plano City Council says it will leave the decision up to voters in the May 2017 bond election.

At last week’s council meeting, they ditched an earlier ultimatum that gave friends of the Collinwood House until Aug. 5 to raise $1.5 million for restoration of the house, and to present a viable preservation plan.

The estimated $3.5 million it will take to restore the Collinwood House will be placed in the future bond election. Council also asked the Plano Heritage Commission to continue their research into the historic significance of the structure, and council agreed to secure the house by building a fence and installing an alarm.

“We were pleased to hear that the council decided to follow the direction recommended by the Heritage Commission, which entailed securing the house, putting the restoration costs on a bond election in 2017, and allowing research into the site and structure to continue,” said Candace Fountoulakis, a board member for Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation. “Council members added to that with their statements about needing confirmation of the facts, staying focused on the Heritage Commission’s role, and refusing to agree to move the house if the bond election passed. We hope to inform Plano’s citizenry about the house so that they will know exactly how valuable the house truly is and what the costs of restoration will be, based on further research.”

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All photos courtesy of Plano Magazine.

All photos courtesy of Plano Magazine. Photos by Jennifer Shertzer.

The Collinwood House is the oldest structure still standing in the city of Plano, and it faces demolition to make way for a structure in a new park.

The 1860’s era house sits on city land being developed for a 124-acre park, which will include hike-and-bike trails, a dog park, and parking spaces. Plano officials are planning to tear down the Collinwood house to build a recreational pavilion.

The only thing that can save the historically significant house at 5400 Windhaven Dr. is if Plano City Council intervenes.

Collinwood House

Original hand hewn timbers and square nails peek out from under the brick skirting added in the 1940s; Concentric tree rings can be seen, accentuated by weathering at the ends of the two timbers.

“The Collinwood House is an extremely significant house due to the fact that it is the oldest house remaining in Plano dating back to the 1860s, still sits on its original site, and is an outstanding example of the rare Gothic Revival style of residential architecture,” said David Preziosi, executive director of Preservation Dallas. “The city of Plano has been progressive in other areas of historic preservation in the city and hope that can extend to saving the irreplaceable Collinwood House—they have a great treasure with the Collinwood House and they need to work to save such an important piece of Texas’ history from being lost.”

Candace Fountoulakis, a board member for Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, has been very involved in efforts to save this property. There have been multiple calls from the Plano City Council for RFPs, none of which have been accepted.

“The more we learn about it, the more we find out it’s a unique, rare, and special look into that era of Plano’s history and we don’t have anything like that left,” Fountoulakis said. “ It’s a huge learning experience, a picture of early frontier history and when you stand in there and look at it, it’s a visceral experience.”

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