January 7, 2010 in Washington Voices

Early editor’s Cheney home put on historic list

By The Spokesman-Review
Lisa Leinberger photo

This house in Cheney was built in 1885 and was once owned by Guyel and Ella Frost. It was recently accepted onto the Cheney Register of Historic Places.
(Full-size photo)

There is a new house listed on the Cheney Register of Historic Places.

The house on I Street was built in 1885 and was once owned by Guyel and Ella Frost. Bettye Hull, Historic Preservation Commission chair, said the house was added on to twice before 1929.

“It’s a neat home that hasn’t had many changes structurally,” Hull said.

The house, owned by Joel and Lynnette Tyndell, fits the requirements to be on the register since Guyel Frost once owned the Cheney Free Press. Houses must be significantly associated with the community’s history, architecture, archeology, engineering or the cultural heritage of the community. It could also be a house that is more than 50 years old.

Having a house listed on the registry has its benefits. After the Historic Preservation Commission and City Council approves the house for the register, the dollar amounts of any updates or restoration projects on the home can be subtracted from the owner’s property taxes.

If approved, the tax incentive is in place for 10 years, and it follows the property, so if the home is sold before 10 years are up, the new owners receive the tax break. Hull said in order to qualify for the tax incentive, the home must be listed on the registry before any improvements are made to the home.

Joel Tyndell said that he and his wife don’t plan to move into the house until this summer.

“We were looking all around Spokane,” he said. The two live in Montesano, Wash., and will move here after he retires. He said they were looking for an old house – it’s the couple’s third home that is more than 85 years old. He added that the home they live in now was once owned by a former editor of the newspaper in Montesano.

As far as improvements to the house, Joel Tyndell said he plans to put on a new roof, fix the heating system and chimney.

Susan Beeman, administrative secretary in the community development department in Cheney, said the city has around 450 homes in its database that have potential to be listed on the registry.

She said she is usually contacted by the appraiser or the real estate agent about a potential historic home and if the buyer is interested, the department can start the paperwork.

The Historic Preservation Commission reviews the paperwork and helps owners of the building by putting them in contact with architects and contractors who have experience working on historic homes.

“It’s kind of a cool program if you have a historic building that needs work,” Beeman said.

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