An emblematic meeting place, event location and historic building may soon be under new ownership.
The Sheldon House, located at 9 Falconer St., is being put on the market by Jamestown Community College after a lengthy review of the situation.
Dr. Cory Duckworth, president of JCC, said the board of trustees has given great care and consideration to the matter.
The house was built as a residence in 1869 and was later rebuilt in 1925. In 1977, the Sheldon House was given to the college by Julia Sheldon Livengood and has since been used to host many guests of the college as well as events and programs of both the college and the community.
“I almost want to call it an institution,” said Duckworth, adding it has held a special place in the community for many years. “We recognize and know the Sheldon House is a venerable part of the community.”
He said the board formed a task force to evaluate the options in 2014, which later led to the recommendation that other uses for the building be pursued. It was determined the best options for the building were focused around private ownership and development, Duckworth added.
“(The board) wanted to make sure (it was done) in a way that will be beneficial to the community,” he said. “It has a place in the hearts of people here at JCC but I think there is a general understanding that we need to focus our resources on educating our students the best we can.”
Duckworth said with tightening finances, the college has to focus solely on the JCC mission.
“We are now reaching a point where we put it on the market. (We want to) make sure who ever owns it will take care of it and make sure it remains an asset in the community,” he said. “The board has been very careful and cautious moving forward and they will continue to do that to make sure there is a good transfer of the property.”
He said maintaining it as a residential location has not made sense for the college, but could work well for a private owner.
“When we would host guests there, we wouldn’t be charging (for their stay),” Duckworth said. “It would be a different situation for a private owner.”
He said the college has been working with the city of Jamestown to make sure the new function of the property remains consistent with the values of the community and the surrounding neighborhood.
“We are taking proposals from individuals and are evaluating them,” Duckworth said. “Hopefully, we will find a buyer who will engage the property and maintain those values.”
At this point, Duckworth said there has been several individuals interested in the property.
Until a buyer is found and a contract for sale is fully negotiated, Duckworth notes, Sheldon House will continue to be available for light receptions and business meetings.