When heavy equipment and a demolition company sign went up at a historic Fresno home a few days ago, some Fresnans feared the house was doomed.
The Craycroft home on Palm Avenue, just north of Sierra Avenue, isn’t going anywhere.
But the carriage house on the property was demolished over the weekend.
A new owner, developer Reza Assemi, has plans to bring the house back to life. Assemi bought the property, closing on the sale last week.
He’s not saying much about his plans yet, except that he will not tear down the house. He may eventually look for a business to rent the remodeled house, but didn’t want to share details just yet. He said he’ll share more with The Bee when the property is cleaned up next week.
The things I’m personally the most passionate about is the old stuff.
The 1927 house was built for Frank J. Craycroft and his wife June using bricks made in the family’s brick-making plant. In recent years the home has been marred by graffiti and vandals. The windows were boarded up as the previous owner tried to find a buyer.
The carriage house was falling apart and wasn’t safe, Assemi said.
“The carriage house was structurally failing,” he said. “It was starting to collapse.” The city approved a demolition permit for that structure.
“You can’t just go out and tear a building down that’s historic,” he added.
Assemi has brought new life to other old buildings, including Theatre 3. The 1929 theater in downtown Fresno is now offices for the Jeffrey Scott advertising agency. He also developed Broadway Studios and Broadway Lofts and other downtown properties.
“The things I’m personally the most passionate about is the old stuff,” he said.