Jones’ Cresson Home May Avoid Razing
The Cresson Area Historical Association, which has owned the 14-room, Queen Anne-style house since 1990, has a tentative agreement to sell it to Andrew and Carrie Dziabo, who grew up nearby and live just a few minutes away.
The tentative agreement, reached Friday, appears to have the blessing of Cresson Township supervisors, who heard the couple outline their plans at a township meeting earlier this month.
“We’re still working on it,” said Mr. Dziabo (pronounced zay-bo). “There are issues that need to be worked out, but it’s looking promising.”
The dilapidated house has been under threat of demolition since a Cambria County judge approved its razing in late 2008. Supervisors had told the historical association the house could be torn down after Sept. 30.
A member of the historical group wrote in an e-mail that the house would be sold for a nominal fee, with the new owners also paying the township’s legal expenses incurred during the long court proceedings. Mr. Dziabo referred questions about sale price to the township solicitor, who was unavailable Friday.
Mr. Dziabo grew up a block away from the Jones cottage, in a historic house that also was part of the Mountain House resort grounds. He worked with his father, civil engineer Michael Dziabo, on restoring that house, and the two plan to collaborate on this one.
While Andrew Dziabo, who works for a power company, has admired the Jones house since he was a child, it wasn’t until the historical group offered tours in the spring that he was able to see the interior.
“The house isn’t in as bad shape as I thought,” he said. “It’s actually very sturdy inside. There is some water damage that ate the plaster in a lot of the rooms, but as far as the structure goes, it seems pretty sound and sturdy. The floors don’t even creak.”
The Dziabos intend to restore the exterior and preserve as much of the interior woodwork as they can.
“The whole appeal of it to my wife and me is the character of the Victorian-style home,” he said, adding that its ornate, well-preserved foyer and staircase “would be very easy to restore. It’s just a matter of elbow grease.”
The Dziabos expect to know soon whether the Jones cottage is theirs.
“The township wants to have this issue to bed by the next [supervisors] meeting.”