Cardinal Chronicle

Oldest home in Plano is slated for demolition, and you’ve probably never heard of it

Sean Moothart, Reporter

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When someone thinks of West Plano, they often think of sprawling mega-mansions, expensive stores, and luxurious cars. It would surprise many that a Pre-Civil War house should be added to the list. Located at 5400 Windhaven Parkway, The Collinwood Home is thought to have been built in 1861. This would make the home the oldest in Plano and one of the oldest in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex.

The Collinwood did not gain prominence until recently. Before stumbling upon a Plano Star Courier article in May 2015, I was under the impression the only historical structures in Plano were located in downtown Plano.

My instant interest was further piqued because the city was now planning to tear down the Collinwood to make way for the city’s newest park, Windhaven Meadows. A park pavilion would take the place of the Collinwood. How could the city let such a valuable resource slip from its hands?

The Collinwood’s historical significance came into question after the city purchased it in 2009 from an estate. A historical study was never completed, leaving many preservationists in the area unaware of its importance and that the city had plans to destroy its only insight into Plano pre-Civil War.

The possibility of tearing down the Collinwood angered many, causing a number of citizens to speak up.

As a seemingly last-minute attempt to save the house, the city offered it for free to anyone who wanted it. There was a catch, however. The buyer must  move the house to a different location. Ultimately, this was not a viable solution because the structural integrity could be compromised in addition to the challenge of finding vacant land for it. 

So the city changed its mind and offered another idea. Proposals were submitted detailing how the home could be used for a Plano business to be incorporated into Windhaven Meadows. Every single proposal was rejected. A second round of proposals occurred six months later, which bore similar results.

The city, wanting to move forward with the park and finish the battle for the Collinwood, offered one final solution – a $3.5 million restoration proposal on the May 2017 bond election (Proposition 6). What the bond verbiage failed to note was that the $3.5 million was not just for the Collinwood. Whatever was left over from the preservation costs of the Collinwood was supposed to cover maintenance and remodeling costs on other city-owned historic structures. With the staggering cost seemingly for just one structure, voters were deterred from saving the house. The Collinwood lost its battle with on 48.84% of voters voting yes to save it.

After the bond election, the city announced it has plans to go forward with the park and begin “deconstruction”, aka demolition, of the Collinwood some time in late 2018. Despite the fact the Collinwood seems doomed, many preservationists still voice their concerns at council meetings.

Construction on the proposed park was to begin in February 2015. Frequent delays have pushed back the home’s demolition three times. This offers hope for the community.

As long as community members care enough to speak out, we have a real chance to save a piece of history. Contacting the city council and the mayor through email and speaking out at council meetings is essential to saving the Collinwood. It is possible, no matter how much of a long shot it seems. It was a long shot three years ago when supporters were told the home was doomed for demolition.

Contact information:

Harry LaRosiliere –  [email protected]

Rick Grady –  [email protected]

Ron Kelley –  [email protected]

Angela Miner –  [email protected]

Kayci Prince –  [email protected]

Anthony Ricciardelli –  [email protected]

Tom Harrison –  [email protected]

Rick Smith – [email protected]

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Oldest home in Plano is slated for demolition, and you’ve probably never heard of it