COLLIN COUNTY (CBS 11 NEWS) – In booming Plano, the Collinwood House, takes you back in time to the 1861, when the city was filled with farms and pastures.
The city’s parks and recreation director Amy Fortenberry says, “Homes were built to have life in them and right now, it doesn’t, it’s sitting empty. We want to see this house preserved because it’s unique.”
The city is now requesting proposals from the public to pay to restore the house, maintain it, and protect it from vandals. It sits on 124 acres on the old Collinwood Farm along Windhaven between Spring Creek and the Dallas North Tollway. The city bought five parcels of the property between 1993 and 2009.
The person who submits the winning proposal, would lease the house from the city, and it would have to be used in a complimentary way for the new Windhaven Meadows Park set to open here next year.
Fortenberry says the park would include trails, a dog park, and open space.
Initially, the city’s thought was to give the house away for free as long as someone paid to move it. But then the city council changed its mind after a second historical preservation officer thought the park would be better if the house stayed here.
Fortenberry says, “I think it’s one of the oldest houses left in Plano, I think that’s the main significance.”
Donna Frost has lived in Plano for 25 years. “When I moved here, Plano was just a field.” That’s why she likes the idea of keeping the house here.
“I think it’s the history of Plano and I think it should stay, it’s probably a really neat place,” she said.
Jill Zacha can see the old Collinwood Farm from her front yard, and doesn’t necessarily want to. “I’d just prefer it be moved off the premises. If it’s a park, it’s a park, let’s keep it a park.”
Detailed proposals about the Collinwood House must be submitted to the city by March 16.
Fortenberry says there’s no guarantee the house will remain. “Wherever it ends up, we’d like to see it be used, loved, and enjoyed.”
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