The historic Cullars home is now a pile of wood slats, crushed bricks and dirt.
Tuesday morning demolition began on the home that sat on the corner of South College Street and Samford Avenue, which was the subject of months of debate and public hearings.
The Cullars Home dated back to the 1800s, a remnant of the family that had a hand in many of Auburn’s historic buildings.
Eric Ward had the salvage rights to the home and filled a trick with wooden boards and beams Tuesday. The team saved the doors, the 1890s flooring, the joists, and what Ward called the “neat, salvageable stuff.”
Ward said he plans to sell the saved materials to the Auburn community.
“People have come by and they’ve wanted to purchase it just because its sentimental to this town and the university,” Ward said.
Bill Hames visited the demolition site. He was able to take home part of the Cullars House.
“I really respect the architecture of that home,” Hames said. “I understand that it probably needed to come down, but it’s a touch with our past and I appreciate the workmanship. I appreciate just how long I’ve seen that home on that corner.
“It was proud, with a shiny metal roof. It was used in just a lot of talking points and things to enjoy about the town and I’m sentimental about old buildings a little bit. So I’m glad to have a few pieces of the good materials that went into making that home.”
Ward said that, as a goodwill gesture, he let Hames take what he wanted — including a wooden board, some bricks and a piece of tin.
The Auburn City Council decided to allow for demolition of the home during a council meeting on Sept. 17, despite both public opposition and support in favor of keeping the house.
Jason Price, the manager of Orange-Auburn III LLC, who owns the piece of property, agreed to a delay in demolition if the council agreed to move the home.
The move would have cost the city approximately $1 million, which included the cost of moving and then renovating the house.
“This is not the city of Auburn’s home,” said Mayor Ron Anders at a Sept. 3 council meeting. “This is a private individual’s property right now that’s being purchased by another private individual. I certainly would love in a perfect world to see somebody come take this house.”
Council member Tommy Dawson echoed Anders’ sentiments.
“I really care about the town, but in all good conscience I just could not vote to spend a million dollars on moving this house,” said Ward 8 member Tommy Dawson on Sept. 17. “It’s not going to be the same house.”
No private group stepped forward to save the house.
City Manager Jim Buston said that Price has made no comments to the city about what he plans to do with the lot.