Paramus residents want protection for centuries-old home

June 28, 2011 02:06PM

As Paramus continues to be overrun with shiny new retail developments, an old home constructed by one of Bergen County’s founding families is in jeopardy of being razed, the New York Times reported. The home at 273 Dunkerhook Road in Paramus, which was built by the Zabriskies in 1790, is the best remaining example of early Dutch stone houses, according to a county historical survey, and its facade remains in place. But the current owner is an elderly woman, Margaret Horton, who needs the income so she can move to an assisted-living facility, and the prospective buyer, developer Sal Petruzzella, wants to demolish the house and build two new homes there. Though the property is landmarked, the Paramus historic preservation zone does not have the strict guidelines that exist in New York City, and simply requires a six-month waiting period before demolishing a historic property so that other options can be explored. Petruzzella insists he has abided by all the local historic property procedure and wants to move on with his plans. But the Times said residents don’t want a piece of their town’s history destroyed, and complain that the city needs to devise ways to better protect important buildings. [NYT]