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Google’s Kevin Rose enrages Portland neighbors with plan to demolish $1.3M historic home

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Poor Kevin Rose -- wherever he goes, people protest him.

It’s not just disgruntled San Franciscans protesting the changes money like Digg/Google guru Kevin Rose’s can bring to their city. In Portland, OR, Rose and his wife Darya have  raised ire as well– this time for buying a $1.3 Willamette Heights home in NW Portland, then proposing to demolish it in favor of new construction.

The home, built in 1892, offers a well-maintained example of Victorian architecture prized (by some buyers, anyway) in this city. It is a 5 bedroom, 3 bath, offering almost 4,400 square feet on a generous .29 acre lot. Chet Orloff, director emeritus of the Oregon Historical Society and former resident of this very same neighborhood, told the Oregonian that “the house was built by the Montague family, which was prominent in early 20th century legal circles. ” Interestingly, the home was included on a historic property inventory, but somehow the Roses managed to get it removed, after which they obtained a demolition permit from the city.

Neighbors are largely outraged – so outraged that they started a petition asking the Roses not to go through with their plans. The petition at time of this writing had over 1,700 signatures.

I guess Poison said it best when they sang, "Every Rose has its thorn..."

Rose tweeted he will "preserve the house" and released this statement:

Darya and I are happy to announce that we've come to an agreement with a long-time resident of Willamette Heights to sell 1627 NW 32nd Ave. The new buyer's intention is not to demolish the house, but rather restore and maintain it. While this agreement isn't fully finalized, we are hoping we can wrap things up quickly.

Over the last few days we've watched as comments and emotions flared on both sides of the issue. Some folks arguing for homeowner rights, others for the preservation of old homes. We've read all of this, along with your emails, and took it all to heart.

We decided on Portland not as an investment property, or vacation spot, but as a place we hope to one day call home, a place to raise our family. We love so much about your beautiful city, and your strong community bond is high up on that list. While we could have legally put our heads down and proceeded forward, that's not the type of relationship we want with our neighbors and our new city friends.

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