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News / Churches & Religion

$1 house: Historic home on property of Brush Prairie Baptist Church faces demolition

Church will sell house for $1 if buyer can move it to new site

By Alexis Weisend, Columbian staff reporter
Published: May 7, 2024, 6:07am
5 Photos
Brush Prairie Baptist Church wants to preserve a 1920s home on its property before its demolition May 14. If the buyer has the funds to move the house, it will be sold for $1.
Brush Prairie Baptist Church wants to preserve a 1920s home on its property before its demolition May 14. If the buyer has the funds to move the house, it will be sold for $1. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Brush Prairie Baptist Church is desperate to save a 1925 home on its property that is set to be demolished in the coming weeks. Church members hope someone will buy the historic home for $1 and pay to move it elsewhere.

“Several congregational members have actually shared with me that they’ve shed tears over the possible loss of this house,” said Jeff McCord with Nickel Bros, a company that does both residential and industrial structural moving. “The demolition is imminent … but there is a chance that we can still save the house.”

Brush Prairie Baptist Church claims to be the oldest church in Washington. The house, at 11807 N.E. 112th Ave. in Vancouver’s urban growth area, sheltered pastors and their families throughout the past century. However, the church is being renovated, and the house is in the way of its expansion.

“I wish we would have started this process earlier,” said Nate Copper, a member of the church’s building team. “We just looked at it and thought it was too hard, but it’s never too late to make the right decision.”

You Can Help

If you can help save this home, email Jeff McCord at jeff.m@nickelbros.com.

 

The house, a yellow six-bedroom home with a covered porch, is livable in its current condition, McCord said, despite being almost 100 years old. Most recently, it’s been used as a counseling center.

“A moved home, especially one with architectural character, has a soul, whereas a newly built home has to earn its soul with years of people living in it,” McCord said.

His company will move the house if someone can come up with the money in time. The church is asking $1 for the house. Nickel Bros’ website lists rates from $68,000 to $345,000 for house-moving in Washington.

If the house is only moved 10 to 12 blocks, the move would likely be in the $60,000 to $100,000 range, McCord said.

In the midst of a housing affordability crisis, that would be considered a deal. Of course, permitting, excavation, hookups and a foundation would cost extra.

All in all, the home could cost around $300,000, McCord said, but that’s still about half the cost of the average home in Clark County.

It’s also a sustainable alternative to demolition. McCord said the house is roughly 60 trees worth of lumber, which is equivalent to a lifetime of recycling paper.

“It’s the single largest thing that an individual would likely ever recycle or reuse in their life,” he said.

He said Nickel Bros and the church are either looking for someone who loves this house or someone with land where the home could temporarily be stored to save it from demolition.

Copper is still holding out hope that someone will save the house reminiscent of simpler times in Clark County.

“It could change one family’s life,” he said.

Community Funded Journalism logo

This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.

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