The Cintra Mansion, a mainstay property of New Hope Borough dating back to the 1800s, is being razed.
The demolition is bringing to an end to years of debate surrounding the preservation of the mansion.
The property, which is located on Bridge Street across from the New Hope-Solebury School District offices, has seen its fair share of debates regarding its fate in recent years.
A demolition permit for the mansion was approved earlier this year by New Hope Borough Council.
A report from WJM Engineering, Inc., an independent engineering firm commissioned by the borough, advised the New Hope Borough Council to either to demolish the Cintra Mansion or to conduct a selective demolition due to deterioration.
The analysis was independent, but the cost was covered by the property’s owner, world-renowned architect Robert Hillier.
Hillier has said he plans a reconstruction using contemporary materials.
Hillier, who acquired the property in 2013, intends to pay homage to the mansion’s historic aesthetic by erecting housing reflective of its original design. The possible development could feature a duplex and four separate outbuildings purposed as apartments. Adding a total of 23 new condominiums could be put at the site, according to a report from WFMZ TV.
In the past, Hillier told the public the mansion’s construction and materials used led to its deteriorated condition.
The mansion’s storied past traces back to its construction around 1816 by William Maris. Maris is also credited with establishing a cotton mill near the Aquetong Creek by the Delaware House located at the intersection of Bridge and Main streets in New Hope Borough, according to the Solebury Township Historical Society.
The mansion later became the home of Ruth Paxson Ely.
For many years, Henry Lee, a fugitive who made his way to the region in the 1830s, served as a domestic worker at the mansion.