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Dial House
The Elias Dial House at 2033 S. 16th St. in Lincoln (Courtesy photo)

In a rare move, the Historic Preservation Commission has approved a landmark designation for a vacant lot at 28th and Washington streets.

The commission took the action Thursday to help relocate the historic Elias Dial House, a small cottage at 2033 S. 16th St.

"It's the most unusual landmark application I've ever presented to you," Historic Preservation Planner Ed Zimmer told the commission before the vote. "The sooner we can facilitate the move, the more likely it will occur."

The Dial House was built in 1904 by architect/engineer George Ridgway. Developers need to either move it or tear it down to make way for a planned CVS pharmacy on South Street between 15th and 16th streets.

Mark Hunzeker, an attorney representing developer B&J Partnership, has said his client would prefer to save the house, but if that's not possible, it will be demolished.

Zimmer and the commission would prefer to save the house and have someone work to preserve its historic features. The Dial House is a hybrid of the 19th century Queen Anne style and the neoclassical new style of the early 20th century.

Zimmer said designating the vacant lot at 28th and Washington streets as a landmark formalizes support for saving the house, while B&J Partnership works out some zoning issues near 16th and South streets.

"If we can help everything to success, that's the best chance we've got," Zimmer told the commission.

In a related matter, the commission approved a special permit to adjust a side yard requirement from 5 feet to 4 feet to accommodate the landmark house, if it is moved. The permit is necessary to comply with zoning regulations.

The commission's recommendations will now go to the Planning Commission, which is scheduled to meet Wednesday, for approval.

If the Planning Commission gives its OK, then the matter will go to the Lincoln City Council.

Reach Algis J. Laukaitis at 402-473-7243 or alaukaitis@journalstar.com.

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