A piece of Plaquemine history is torn down

By Keitha Nelson - bio | email

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB)-Demolition is underway at a historic home in Plaquemine, despite efforts to save it. After months of fighting, the owner got the go-ahead to tear down the early 1900's house.

Demolition crews rolled in about a half an hour after an order was signed by a local judge Wednesday, giving Brent Bonadona the legal right to knock down the Pitre home on Church Street in Plaquemine.

Neighbors say that home was livable before Bonadona bought it in April.

"It's like burning a book. This place has 100 years of history," says Les Ann Kirkland as crews worked to tear down the Pitre home.

"The foundation is rotting on one side. You have seen the inside, it's falling down," says attorney Tony Clayton. His client Bonadona owns Performance Auto and the Pitre home.

A judge ruled that Bonadona can demolish this more than 100-year-old house.

"We just can't believe that it's going to happen. Everybody is heart broken, says Kirkland. She's among many people in the Plaquemine community who believe the Pitre home is historic, and should be saved. But there's no legal backing to their claim.

"It's his legal right to take it down. but it's not necessarily the right thing for him to do. Sometimes the law doesn't have anything to do with morality," Kirkland says.

Even before the chainsaws and crow bars tore into the home Wednesday, it simply couldn't be lived in.

Clayton says it was a danger to kids who play nearby. With shingles hanging off of the roof and broken pieces of wood scattered about, he believes there was only one logical way to go.

"He's going to tear it up. He's going to fence it in to keep it with in the aesthetics of the community. And use it for his property and whatever he chooses to do with it, that's up to him," said Clayton.

Kirkland believes Bonadona will turn that land into a parking lot. She and others plan to revamp the parish's current ordinance so they can better protect homes considered historic in the area.

Clayton says he's willing to volunteer to help construct those laws.

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