Historic homes on Ocean Drive to be demolished for new development

Posted at 5:23 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 18:23:48-04

There are certain homes on Ocean Drive that everybody recognizes, but now after two big sales, a couple of historic houses will be torn down to make way for new construction.

The Ada Wilson house and the HEB house, located at near Doddridge and Ocean Drive, have been staples on Ocean Drive for decades. Now in about five years, you will be see a very different scene at the intersection. The houses will be replaced by town homes.

Both the Ada Wilson house and the neighboring HEB house were recently purchased by the Ed Rachal Foundation. 

Paul Altheide, the Secretary of that foundation, tells us they plan to demolish the homes and build around 20 high-end town homes or patio homes on the two lots. 

The materials and unique architectural features of the Ada Wilson home, like its stone exterior and chandeliers, will be salvaged for re-use. 

The Rachal Foundation also owns the waterfront property on Ocean Drive across from the houses. Altheide says they plan to build some patios or other developments there. They will be low structures that do not obstruct the ocean view. 

Some folks who live nearby are upset about the Rachal Foundation’s decision to tear down the homes. 

So why tear down two historic homes?

Altheide says it is all about location, and you cannot do better than this and its central and accessible location at Doddridge and Ocean Drive. 

The HEB house will be used by the Rachal Foundation and other non-profits for meetings for about the next four years, until the development is close to complete. The Ada Wilson house will be disassembled this year.