ALLISON BAVER & ABC’S EXTREME MAKEOVER, HOME EDITION
Matt Roth | Web Producer
Posted: 12:27 pm EDT July 30, 2010
TILDEN TWP., Pa. — In just a matter of minutes, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition crews and local demolition crews tore down a house that stood for nearly 300 years.
The home in Tilden Township, Berks County, near Hamburg, belongs to Trisha Urban, a widowed mother of an 18-month-old girl who was chosen by Extreme Makeover for a new home.
Her husband, Andy, who was born with a congenital heart defect, died of a massive heart attack on February 4, 2009, less than nine hours before the birth of their daughter, Cora.
Trisha told 69 News it was the couple’s dream to renovate the home and make it safe for the family to continue living in, but that never happened.
The crumbling home, which dates back to the early 18th century, had mold growing in the basement and electrical outlets hanging out of the walls.
Crews managed to salvage the main beam of the old house. They’re also working to preserve other pieces and use them in the new home.
“There are strictly some things we’re going to save from this 300-year-old home that we’re going to try to reincorporate into the new house,” said Paul DiMeo, a member of the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team and a native of Media, Delaware County. “I’m going to be doing that, making sure we get some of those beams out there and then finding a place to use them in the new house. There’s some stone work around the other side of the house that we want to keep and maybe use the fireplace. So, we want to kind of take some of the old and use in the new.”
Uncut Interview: Designer Paul DiMeo About Project
Trisha and her daughter are now enjoying a week’s vacation at Walt Disney World in Florida while hundreds of local volunteers work around the clock to build her a new home.
Uncut Interview: Trisha Urban Before Sendoff
Allison Baver, a 2010 Olympic bronze medalist in short-track speed skating and a native of Berks County, is among those on hand to help.
The foundation of the new home has already been poured less than 50 feet away from where the old house stood.
Once it is done drying tomorrow, volunteers will begin framing the new home and installing windows.
Plumbing, electric, heating, and air conditioning are scheduled to be installed on Sunday.
That will be followed by exterior work on the house being done by masons on Monday.
The family will be brought back on Thursday for the big reveal, tentatively scheduled for 2:00 p.m.
Go here to see the following slideshows, more links, and to read more about it:
Slideshow: Extreme Makeover: Day 2 – Demolition
Slideshow: Extreme Makeover: Day 1 – Surprise & Sendoff
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On a personal note, as one who works in the industry, I’m one of those who really respects and appreciates vintage architecture. I’m always saddened when one more ‘This Old House’ falls to the wrecking ball. Far too often, there is just no other choice. Black mold, crumbling foundations and ‘bad bones’ leaves one with few other viable and/or cost effective options.
I was happy to read though that the powers that be at Extreme Makeover chose to salvage parts of the house that they thought were redeemable for reuse.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, baby!
I once read a quote “only truly wealthy nations can afford to be wasteful”. Well, we ain’t so wealthy anymore. Not only can we not afford to be wasteful, some things really are worth saving and preserving. I’m glad designer Paul DiMeo respects that. Kudos to you, sir.
And Kudos to Allison for participating. I have the impression from her posts that she has a great love of her native Pennsylvania and I can think of few better ways of showing it. You Go Girl!