Officials in Newtown have decided to raze the house of the gunman who besieged a local primary school and killed 20 pupils and six teachers after a flood of requests from local people upset by its presence.
On Wednesday evening, the Newtown Legislative Council approved a proposal to tear down the 3,100-square-foot home of gunman Adam Lanza and keep the land as open space.
The Associated Press said that neighbours had been pleading with town officials to tear down the house of man who attacked the Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 before turning a gun on himself, saying it was a “constant reminder of the evil that resided there”.
Amy DeLoughy, whose house is located on the other side of the street, wrote to local officials that her children’s bus stop had to be moved because it was too upsetting for the youngsters to wait near the house.
Ian and Nicole Hockley, whose 6-year-old son, Dylan, died in the shooting, have said they moved out of the neighbourhood because seeing that house across the way was too painful for them.
Another resident of the town, Dave Ackart wrote: “Not only is the property a constant reminder of the evil that resided there - those of us who walk, run, drive, ride or otherwise must pass it multiple times a day, are having a hard time moving on.”
Local official Pat Llodra told reporters she expected the house Lanza house will be razed once winter is over. The two-acre property was given to the town in December by a bank that acquired it from the Lanza family.
It is estimated that it will cost around $27,000 for the demolition work to be done. The money will come from a fund-raising pool that town officials have access to.
Lanza shot his mother inside the large yellow house, located on Yogananda Street, before making his way to the school and opening fire.
Ms Llodra has asked the town’s lawyers to write something into the deed that will prohibit the town from profiting from any future sale or development of the land.
“Any proceeds, should the property ever be developed, would be for the benefit of the victims,” she said.
Reports said the Lanza family moved from southern New Hampshire and bought the new house in 1998. It has been sitting vacant since the shooting.
Everything inside, including rugs and lighting fixtures, have been removed and incinerated so nothing could become memorabilia. Even so, it has become a tourist destination for lovers of the macabre.
Ms Llodra said she had polled the victims’ families and neighbours, and most support the plan to tear the house down. But not everyone liked the idea of leaving the space open.
Ms DeLoughy said she would rather the property be sold and a new home built on the property.
“Leaving the property to nature would mean there is still a sense of darkness in our neighbourhood,” she said. “Love and light that a new family would bring would help heal some of the very deep wounds we are still tending to.”Reuse content