Doctrine Based vs. Emotion Based Conflict

by Hal Mooz 2. May 2014 09:13

Neighbors want architect's dream home torn down: 'It's devastating'

Architect Louis Cherry and his wife, Marsha Gordon, have drawn protests from some of their neighbors in the Oakwood neighborhood of Raleigh who say the style of the new house does not fit in. There are about 600 homes in the neighborhood, from turn-of-the-century Victorians to shotgun bungalows. At issue now is whether Cherry and Gordon can be forced to tear down their two-story, two-bedroom home because of objections by neighbors. 

The home is being built in the modernist style made famous by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and the couple said that they made it clear from the beginning that the house's style would differ from others in the neighborhood. 

The couple obtained a proper city building permit before beginning construction. After a four-hour hearing in September, the Raleigh Historic Development Commission gave the couple permission to build the house.  

"When you're given a building permit from a city, you expect that it means that you have permission to build,'' Gordon said. 

The fight is now headed to court, and one thing the judge will consider is that the lot was empty before construction began so no existing Victorian home was knocked down to make way for the new house. 

Cherry believes it's a case of property rights, but those in opposition say it's about keeping the historic feel of the neighborhood. 

"I don't think it's appropriate to exert your tastes on other people's property rights,'' Cherry said.


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Engineer, Project Manager, Entrepreneur, Author, Trainer, Lecturer, Thought Leader, Consultant

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