A Sea of Humanity Protest At Gates of La Ronda: Any Decision Makers Watching?

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It was a sea of humanity and media at La Ronda this afternoon. They came literally from all over to pay homage to Addison Mizner's La Ronda. But in the end, will it matter?

Clients Mr. and Mrs. X who have Joe Kuhls as a lawyer, were you watching? Do you care? Arthur Kania, Salvage King, were you watching? Do you care? Mr. Kania are you really building a house in either Boca or Jupiter FL that will embrace the architectural flavor of La Ronda? If you love the style so much, why are you being so difficult? So will some of the salvage you rape from the carcass of La Ronda be integrated into your new McMansion? Why not do the right thing Mr. and Mrs. X and Mr. Kania? Are you all so souless? Why give money to charity like you all do? Is that about the tax write off and the name recognition or is it about the charities you support?

Why is it so hard for these people with obviously more money then sense to do the right thing?

Among the people there today was Suzy Atterbury. Her dad was one of the owners of La Ronda. Art Gallagher. She came to see La Ronda, and on this day, it was hard. Her father loved La Ronda and her family has many memories of Christmases past, yule logs in the giant fireplaces.

Benjamin Wohl flew up again. He spoke to a crowd of at least 100 people (if not more). He was spirited and passionate and pointed in his remarks. Benjamin Wohl is exactly the type of person the Main Line and Lower Merion need desperately. He is a man with vision and soul. You can see the passion in his face. I think it has been an honor to be in his presence as you meet few people anymore who are so decent. He owns a Mizner home - another Mizner home that needed to be rescued. Ben did that. There aren't enough Bens. He asked people to pray for La Ronda, and he's right, because La Ronda is on life support and they are about to pull the plug. The crime is they don't have to.
protest2
La Ronda is on life support because our historic preservation in Pennsylvania is in a sense, broken. The will is there, but we far too often lose our way. People can't just rally in the 11th hour - yes it is crucially important, but it shouldn't always be like this! However, I have said it consistently throughout this whole tragedy of operatic proportions that our historic preservation can't continue to be REactive, it must be PROactive. And I also can't help but wonder if PA hadn't bowed under pressure of development/building lobbying, what kind of positive difference PA HB 904 might have made? The moratorium on development bill? Now I took the news of this bill more than once to the Lower Merion Township Board of Commissioners during public privilege. This current board. Some who shall remain nameless who wish to save La Ronda, basically laughed at the concept of this bill - told me how it was wong, I was wrong, but was I? Was I wrong to support a tool that offers muncipalities to hit a "pause" button? La Ronda's owners want to knock her down to build their Barbie's dream house and sell off building lots for development, right? Imagine the possibilities if H.B. 904 had become law?

Oh yes, we currently have historic preservation tools, but the debate rages on when contemplating the tools. Are the tools ineffective or are many of those who interpret or use the tools ineffectual? Or both?

Am I angry. Yes, I am darn angry. Because tomorrow is September 1st and we are quite possibly losing yet more of our historical and cultural identity as an area. TOO MANY of the great houses and structures are gone. Too many of the equally important, yet more humble structures are gone. Take 520 Old Lancaster Road for example. Did wannabe developer Tom Hall really have to take that house down days after Chrsitmas? I still believe, as do many others that the answer to that is "no". Yet as property owner, that was his "right". What is the site now? Well I can tell you, a fragment of a driveway that dead ends into a weedy lot. There is no grand development.

La Ronda is the ultimate heart breaker and once again raises the conversation government like to avoid: when does what is right and in the public good matter? When does historic preservation matter? When do the property rights of those who live surrounding an area targeted by an unwelcome demolition matter?

When does what we actually want in our communities matter? You know what else I learned today? That when Villanova University was divesting itself of La Ronda, that was one of the many times Lower Merion Township would have had the opportunity to act and save and acquire La Ronda. But it didn't.

So folks, next time a development plan comes up that quite bluntly you think sucks and Lower Merion Township says "oh we wish we could do more" remember La Ronda. And remind them.

Has the township now, today tried to save La Ronda? Yes. But this should never have gotten this far.

And when you go to a cocktail party or a non-profit fundaraiser and see Mr. and Mrs. X who bough La Ronda, or the Kanias, remind them of La Ronda if she comes down. Remind them of what they could have done if in the end they let La Ronda be executed. I would even say if those people support a non-profit or charity and I see their names on a committee list or invitation, well from now on I will think twice. I will really think twice. Because La Ronda is the ultimate case of charity begins at home, and these people? They have had the chance to do the right thing, only they seem to have chosen not to. It might be their right to choose as they please, but it's my right to say they are WRONG.

These people aren't part of our community if they do this (they just live around here and there IS a difference), and can it just be said in this case, they can't buy their way in either?

If they change their minds and work with Benjamin Wohl I will get right back up here and say thank you for finally doing the right thing. But until then, I will say I have grown to despise them. I didn't at first because I was trying to see all sides of the issue and to respect the property rights involved. But to have a lot of money and not do something really spectacular for a community you have called home? I just don't get it.

Photos are loading now. I shot way more than I needed, but I figured I wanted to record it. It's my way of saying This place matters. Because it does. La Ronda matters.

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carla's picture
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The photos are completely raw and still loading - no editing yet - but here, have a peek at today.

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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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Wow!! How about that!

The Wikipedia entry on La Ronda is being updated in real time.

"Following Percival Foerderer's death in 1969, the Foerderer family sold the estate to Vilanova University.[1] Since that time, a series of subsequent owners used the grounds of most of the original estate to build new single homes and townhouses. By 2009, the grounds of the La Ronda mansion had shrunk to 3.2 acres, and the fate of the mansion is now a subject of debate and legal battles. In March 2009, the current owner applied for a demolition permit and announced plans to tear down the La Ronda mansion and build a new 10,000-square-foot house.[2]

Joseph Kuhls, the lawyer retained by the anonymous current owner (suggested to be Joe Kestenbaum), says that the existing mansion is not air conditioned, that the current owner has the right to do what he wants with the property, and that when Foerderer built La Ronda, an 1880s farmhouse was destroyed.[3]"

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How about this for irony & timing:

Critic's Notebook
Musical white elephants brought out of the trunk
By David Patrick Stearns
Inquirer Classical Music Critic

Every great composer has a white elephant - a piece as grand as it is unsuccessful, a flop that only genius can create, and all the more embarrassing for that.

Adventurers like Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, whose output is marked by an almost compulsive search for new ground, were fated to have at least one. Bernstein's was the gargantuan 1971 Mass written to open the Kennedy Center. Sondheim's case stretched over 15 years with a musical whose titles ranged from Wise Guys to Bounce to Gold! until finally becoming Road Show late last year at New York's Public Theater....Road Show is about the roguish Mizner Brothers - Wilson (1876-1933) and Addison (1872-1933, architect of La Ronda, the currently imperiled Main Line mansion) - who cut a wide swath through turn-of-the-century America, most notably in a spectacular land swindle in 1920s Florida. Sondheim and librettist John Weidman envisioned a new-ish look at their showbiz roots in vaudeville and seemed right on track in 1999 with a high-profile workshop starring Nathan Lane and Victor Garber. Hearing bootleg recordings of it, you wonder why Sondheim seemed to, creatively speaking, run in the opposite direction. One theory: He and director Sam Mendes didn't do well together.

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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Are Comprehensive Plan updates being done behind closed doors? What do we have to do to get a public process in the planning and future of our township? Shouldn't the community have meaningful input into community planning? Shouldn't those who live here have a say in the future? Should it all be done by staff, or should staff listen to residents?

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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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Posted on Tue, Sep. 1, 2009
Way clear for salvage, demolition of historic manse
By Derrick Nunnally
Inquirer Staff Writer

After months of debate, Lower Merion Township is to hand over a permit this morning to demolish Bryn Mawr's ornate La Ronda mansion.

Although the township will require the historic villa to remain standing for one more month, salvage workers can pick it apart, fixture by fixture - to the dismay of the man who wants to buy and move the house.

The salvage work would preserve much of the ornate tilework, stained glass and other elements of the building, while separating them from the revered home for which they were designed....In a letter to the township Aug. 26, Kania wrote that he plans to "contribute certain architectural elements to the Philadelphia Museum of Art" and other collections.

"While such reservation and recovery of the improvements would not preserve La Ronda per se," Kania wrote, "I wanted to be sure that the architectural artifacts would be most appropriately preserved for future generations."

A museum spokesman could not verify whether Kania had contacted the institution.

Local/StateHistoric La Ronda permit transfers todayTuesday, September 01, 2009 | 8:01 AM

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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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Does anyone know Mr. Kania to be able to call him up and see what the scoop is? He has lived in this community for decades!!

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xlr8by:
A phone number for a company that he owns (or is somehow involved with) and that is described as having real estate focus in Bala Cynwyd (Kanco?) can be found on the internet. Likewise, a # for his law firm.

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Thanks, but I do not want to call him...I just figured maybe a friend of his might have an easier time trying to convince him to save the house.

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Arthur Kania and Arthur Kania Jr both live on Main Line. Property records in Delaware county show:

Kanco
14 Tunbridge Rd
Haverford , PA 19041

Deed Book/Page Deed Date Purchase Price Service Company
1734/0456 06/24/1998 $937,500.00 0000 , No Mortg Code On Rec

Kanco Inc
C/o Kania Arthur J Trust
150 Turnbridge Rd
Haverford , PA 190415049

Deed Book/Page Deed Date Purchase Price Service Company
1291/2180 08/25/1994 $1.00 0000 , No Mortg Code On Rec

http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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The Villanova School of Law website says:

Arthur J. Kania '56
Recipient of the Gerald Abraham Alumni Association Award for Service to Villanova Law School
(Association Year 2000-2001)

"As a visionary leader and generous benefactor, Arthur Kania, of Kania, Lindner, Lasak & Feeney in Bala Cynwyd, PA, has been instrumental in. . ."

and also, apparently, ensuring that some remains of La Ronda are preserved in a Philadelphia area museum.

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From today's Inquirer article by Derrick Nunnally posted by Carla:

"In a letter to the township Aug. 26, Kania wrote that he plans to 'contribute certain architectural elements to the Philadelphia Museum of Art' and other collections.

'While such reservation and recovery of the improvements would not preserve La Ronda per se,' Kania wrote, 'I wanted to be sure that the architectural artifacts would be most appropriately preserved for future generations.' "

Oh. Then is this right?

    Arthur J. Kania--as late as Aug. 26th--dauntlessly pursued his above described preservation-minded largess despite statements and pleas of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Lower Merion Conservancy, statements by the the chair of LMT Historic Commission, some LMT Commissioners, other national and local historic preservation organizations, citizens--local and national--during the last 3 months since the stay of demolition vote by LMT Board of Commissioners, and Benjamin Wohl's offer to save the whole structure?

Is this right?

    Mr. Kania decided that he'd, all things considered, choose to have some nameplates in the Philadelphia Museum of art and maybe elsewhere (say, the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach) to further document his charitable benignity and legacy than to change his plans to pursue salvage rights?

Did Mr. Kania's letter to our Township also mention something else that's been reported?

    Mr. Kania wants to take some of the architectural elements he salvaged from La Ronda to ornament a new home he plans to build in Florida? If the information is accurate, it seems to qualify for inclusion in his Aug. 26th letter to LMT explaining and justifying his "recovery" effort: he wants to bring more of Mizner to Florida.

More questions:

    How did Mr. Kania's August 26th letter to LMT get to Inquirer? And, when did it get there?

And here we seem to have a well-documented, instructive and memorable case study of how local LMT land development and real estate lawyer-wizards and historic preservation interests now (circa Spring/Summer, 2009) can work hand-in-hand in Lower Merion Township.

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carla's picture
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Here, check out the video from Main Line Media News - I can't get their embedding code to work, or I would post the video.

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Does anyone know if a demolition permit has been issued?

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I was told they have been prepared, not yet picked up. Look at these screen shots from photos off Facebook - check the destruction already from Salvage King Kania:
lr6
lr4

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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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The whole saga--punctuated by the initial "salvage" photos--is now so evocative that silence trumps even usually ready thought-words.

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From the newspaper articles published in August, it doesn't appear it was Kania who is responsible for the salvage and destruction so far. The Inquirer's August 20th article states that the current owner had a team salvaging the interior and that the owner was surprised by Kania's claim of salvage rights. I believe there was a stop work order issued then. It seems that Kania's rights start on the date the demolition permit is issued (Has it been issued yet?). On September 1st La Ronda should have been intact. No wonder the new owner wouldn't deal seriously with Wohl. He had already compromised that deal by ripping out fixtures. There is nothing to indicate Kania would not have been willing to deal with Wohl. It seems the new owner is overly eager to start the wrecking ball, even going beyond his legal rights. Such a shame that La Ronda was not properly classified to protect it.

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But couldn't the previous owners of La Ronda who hold current salvage rights have properly classified La Ronda as a Class 1 resource? But they didn't, did they? And of course this always brings everyone full circle to who the new owners are exactly, doen't it? After all it's a secret limited partnership isn't it? Who is to say who is involved and will we ever know?

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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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I expect that we'll know their identities when they move into their new McMansion!

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concerned, thank you. What you observe is consistent with the information posted at Save La Ronda Now website.

"During the next 30 days Arthur Kania, who retains salvage rights to the contents of La Ronda, will begin removing valuable materials from the house. Curiously, Mr. Kania himself did not exercize his right to file an injunction against the current owner for ravaging the interior during the past few weeks. Please encourage Mr. Kania to negotiate a deal that would transfer his salvage rights to Benjamin Wohl. This is our last hope for saving La Ronda. Tell Mr. Kania that La Ronda belongs on Mt. Pleasant Road, not scattered among various salvage dealers and private homes.

Tell Mr. Kania This Is Wrong
Tell Mr. Kania that the chance to view a token piece of La Ronda at a museum or historical society will never replace the chance to see it where it has stood for the last 80 years. Direct comments to . Comments will be forwarded to Mr. Kania."

http://www.site.savelarondanow.com/

http://www.site.savelarondanow.com/Contact_Reputed_Owner.html

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Is Mr. Wohl even interested in the salvage rights if he doesn't get the building structure from the current owner? Seems pointless for him to acquire those rights without a guarantee that the current owner will sell him the building structure and let him move it. What will he do with the salvage rights if he can't move the house? Most likely it will be the same as Kania wants to do.

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I doubt Mr. Wohl will want salvage rights unless he can buy the house. Also, Mr. Wohl is an honorable man. I have met him, I have spoken with him. He wants to save La Ronda and move it. As in he wants to save the house and would live in it himself when he was in the area. He wants to preserve the mansion in perpertuity.
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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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My assumption was that the statement below from Derrick Nunnally's Inquirer article today, posted at SAC by Carla, answered xlr8by's question.

LMT Department of Building and Planning likely will provide a definitive answer. Permit issuance qualifies as public record.

From Lower Merion Township website: "Administrative Clerk Building & Planning (610)645-6164"

"After months of debate, Lower Merion Township is to hand over a permit this morning to demolish Bryn Mawr's ornate La Ronda mansion.

Although the township will require the historic villa to remain standing for one more month, salvage workers can pick it apart, fixture by fixture - to the dismay of the man who wants to buy and move the house."

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What a shame to see those photos like that.... I don't know why a man that lived in the house for over 20 years would do such a thing Sad . Also I still don't understand why the house was never listed for sale before Kania sold it to a partnership? Also, why if the house is for an individual would a partnership own the home? Is the one partner that decides to live in the home going to buy the others out? This whole situation leaves a lot more questions asked then answers, but the most upsetting thing is that when the Foerderer's sold the property to VU it had 230+ acres now there is nothing left in about 40 years!

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Neighbors and realtors said the house WAS for sale off and on during the past few years. I ran into a neighbor of La Ronda today who said that the initial demolition permit was applied BEFORE the sale was even completed? How is that possible? Also, what about Lower Merion and the approved subdivision/building lots? And not so long ago there was a sign for a construction company on the lawn and wouldn't we all like to know the name?

_____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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I mistyped as what I said appears to be not correct, but regardless of how or who did what it is a shame to see these photos.

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Wow, wow, wow...read this!

The Hysterical Preservationist: La Ronda, A Story of Selfishness

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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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Carla great link! Can you e-mail at with your e-mail address?

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So it seems Kania hasn't even started to salvage (the prior destruction resulting from the current owner's hired salvage company). Yet, even if Kania sells or relinquishes his rights, we still have the current stubborn owner. In August, when that owner thought he legally had the salvage rights and all other ownership, he wouldn't negotiate with Wohl. Seems he doesn't want to delay the building of his McMansion.

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This entire matter has had me too distraught to have responded sooner.

La Ronda is La Ronda because it is whole and unaltered after all this time, from when Addison Mizner first built it in 1929. To destroy La Ronda, so that you can put a couple of pieces on display at the Art Museum as a gesture of charity is a sacrilege. If Kania thinks he is going to come in now and like he is doing something for the community he couldn't be more wrong. If he wanted to do something for the community he should have listened to the voices of all the people in support of saving this irreplaceable property and acted on it, instead of his own greed and selfishness. La Ronda is La Ronda because of all the pieces that make it what it is, and part of what they are all together, which is truly magical and a work of art. To dismantle and separate these artifacts from their original, intended place will not be the same in any other form, not in someone's house, not at the Art Museum, not in Florida. For all the salvage that has occurred thus far, why didn’t Kania step forward sooner? It does not add up that the current owners paid $6 million for the property, which equates to close to $1 million an acre, during a recession, and they relinquished their salvage rights despite the fact that the salvage was so valuable, just so that they could stick their own house there, and that despite all this controversy that they are anxious to move in to their new home? If you then add in $3-6 million+ to build their McMansion, there is no way they would make that back on their investment unless they were going to make a nice profit off the salvage, or get La Ronda out of the equation and then “change their minds” and proceed with subdividing the land, at which time it will be too late for anyone to do anything about it because by that time La Ronda will be gone. It is presumed that La Ronda is owned by the CEO of a capital management company. Someone of this background would not put themselves into a position to lose money, which is in effect what their supposed story is attempting to make us believe. If the owner is looking at this solely as a selfish act for personal benefit they would take all of the costs into consideration and their future return on investment. Further, it has been said from the beginning that La Ronda is owned by a partnership, not an individual, so how does this all get taken into account if they are proposing a single family dwelling on the lot? Surely all the partners won’t be living there together. Come on! There has got to be more to this, it just doesn't add up. Carla, you have access to the deed transfer records, do you know when the demolition permit was filed? I know that both transactions occurred in March, and that despite whatever misinformation was said, it is apparent that the new owners intended to tear it down from the beginning.

I find the photos to be truly heart wrenching and extremely difficult to look at.

Stacey

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Stacey,
The demolition permit was prepared and issued as per published media reports as of 9/1/09. Demolition permits are not listed on the Montgomery County PA Public Web Access for property records or recorder of deeds. Demolition permits are filed locally. That would be Lower Merion.

If you want information about the demolition permit try e-mailing Bob Duncan at

At the end of the day I still can't help but wonder if that tearing down La Ronda is not about some gauche noveau riche couple building their dream Mc Monstrosity, but just another ugly spec development project? Of course I have no proof, but that is just what it has always smelled like to me....

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L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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Stacey,
I think the details of the proposed McMansion have already been disclosed in the newspapers by the new owner's lawyer. I can't recall whether it was mentioned in regard to a building permit or not. As far as a partnership owning a single family dwelling, it is actually fairly common. For all we know the partners are family members. In fact, the transfer records indicate that Kania did not himself own the property outright. It appears it was help by several different types of legal entities.
What is starting to bother me now, despite all the publicity, no one has stepped forward to make an offer to buy the property outright. The new owners, through their lawyer, indicated in the spring, that they would consider this option. Yes, Wohl has tried to get a deal to move the house at a "six figure" price but it seems he's looking for a bargain and not interested in paying full price. It has also been mentioned that La Ronda has been on and off the market for several years and has been vacant for years. So perhaps Kania had been trying to sell it to preserve it but no buyer came forward, It's a big estate and I'm sure the real estate costs alone are huge, let alone the other expenses. Seems he's been absorbing those costs for years. Since that doesn't make any economic sense, I can think of no other reason for him doing that except that he really was trying to keep it intact.
Yes, I understand that Kania could have "voluntarily" had La Ronda designated as a Class I protected building(or whatever the designation is), but doesn't that restrict his property rights? Doesn't that mean it has to remain as it is? If he couldn't sell it over those three years and no serious buyer has come forward recently with all this press, are we saying that he should just have been stuck with it forever? As a property owner myself, I don't think that seems right. We can all scream and yell and be mad but none of us are stepping forward to buy it. There aren't even buyers for the less expensive homes. Right now there are 6 homes on my street for sale in the 1.5 to 2 million dollars range. All have been on the market for six months or more. None have sold.
Of course, I can think of no excuse as to why the current owner would not give serious consideration to Wohl's offer unless he just doesn't want to delay the start of his building. He's being cowardly and not speaking up so who knows? This whole thing is troubling but I have a feeling there is more to this than we know.

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Stacey's picture
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I was looking for the date that the original demolition application was filed (back in March). I suspect from attending several of the Lower Merion Commissioner meetings and observing Mr. Duncan that he would not provide me with an answer to this question. I thought that it was in an article somewhere when all of this information first became public knowledge. I was curious as to when it was filed in relation to the date of the sale.

The property purchased from Kania to the anonymous owner is comprised of 5 lots total, one of which contains La Ronda. I can’t help but wonder if the real idea was to salvage La Ronda for all it was worth, get rid of the shell, then present the township with their plans for houses on each of the lots. Now we are talking some money, surely all this would equate to well over $6 million. And this would make the La Ronda property infinitely more desirable than another property within similar proximity and acreage because here they wouldn’t need to go back to the township to get the lot subdivided, it already is! I am also sure that salvaging La Ronda was worth well more than a six figure sum (do not misunderstand me, I very, very much liked Mr. Wohl and think that he would have been an ideal owner for La Ronda because I do believe that he genuinely cared about and appreciated the house, but he was working against people looking to make as much money as possible, people that absolutely do not care about anything other than their own interest). A sheer disgrace all around that something could not have been worked out. I know that a description of what the anonymous owner’s plans are for the property appeared in the newspaper, but remember there have been things said by the anonymous owner through their attorney from the beginning that have been inconsistent, so you really do not know what to believe and are therefore left to draw your own conclusions. Just as one example, initially the reason for demolition was because of lack of air conditioning, but the truth is that within days of buying La Ronda there were demolition permits filed (if not before), hardly any time whatsoever to explore alternative options, and I think someone raised the point of the cost to do so, which surely would have been less expensive than fighting demolition in court, going against the wishes of the community, tearing it down, and then building another house, not to mention if air conditioning was so important to you, wouldn’t you be cognizant of this detail prior to purchasing said property? So what is the truth? My point is that it seems to change with the wind, and that despite what the newspaper might say (as it did with the air conditioning) I can’t help but be skeptical of the statement that the new owner really wants to put up their dream McMansion there. More likely, who is to say they won't 'change their mind' once La Ronda is gone and then becomes a non-issue, at which time they decide (actually, the truth be told) that they want to build five houses (or more, if they go back to the township in an attempt to subdivide the La Ronda lot).

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Stacey,
Bob Duncan is a very nice man. He always responds to my questions. Sometimes it takes a day or two because he is pretty busy, but I have never had him NOT answer a question. La Ronda isn't his fault.

You are right about one thing, La Ronda drama changes like the wind blows...tomorrow it could be something else again. This is one crazy roller coaster. _____________________________________________________________
L'homme est né libre, et partout il est dans les fers/Man is born free, yet he is everywhere in chains.–Jean Jacques Rosseau. The Social Contract, 1762

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For whatever it is worth, I found out today that the demolition permit was originally applied for two days after La Ronda was sold, so it was the new owner's intention to tear it down from the start, not because after exploring alternative options they concluded that the house was inadequate because of its lack of air conditioning (according to earlier newspaper reports). Carla, thank you for suggesting that I contact Mr. Duncan, he was very helpful.

They are destroying a true work of art and we are losing a significant piece of our culture with the loss of La Ronda. However, I must remain hopeful of the possibility that something can still be worked out between the current owners, Kania, and Wohl to save it before it is too late.

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Stacey

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