Mitt Romney’s Boyhood Home Scheduled to be Demolished

As a Michigander, this article caught my eye.  I’ve been following this story much longer than the rest of the country has since I live to close to Detroit.  When Mayor Dave Bing was still a long-shot to become Mayor I was very intrigued by his plan to bring urban farming to the city.  Detroit has so many dilapidated houses and neighborhoods with few residents despite the many remaining empty and cheap homes.  In a lot of cases, the homes can be bought for almost nothing, but the unpaid tax burden is very high.

Anyway, the idea of consolidating neighborhoods and turning vacant land into farms makes too much sense logistically and financially to ignore.  I understand and am sympathetic to the people who live in a home that has been part of their family for generations, so I’m not completely sold on the idea of relocating citizens to more densely populated neighborhoods.  This is a very complicated problem that the city of Detroit has dealt with for years.  I applaud Mayer Bing and his administration for taking large steps to address the situation, although I’m not certain it’s the right thing to do.  Detroit can’t afford to sit idly by and wait for over a million people to move back to the city because that may never happen.  Perhaps the best solution would be to allow people who want to stay in their homes to stay, but all services would be cut to the house because consolidating and privatizing those services is part of Mayor Bing’s plan.  I could go into more details, but I digress…

In the article I linked to above, I was surprised to find out that Mitt Romney’s boyhood home is one of the homes scheduled to be demolished.  I haven’t heard about this from Mitt or anyone else for that matter, and that silence leads me to ask a few questions:

1.  How long did Mitt live here as a boy and is this home something that should be saved for posterity in the event that Mitt becomes our President?  Based on the picture provided in the article, this house looks pretty run down.  Since Mitt still has quite a bit of family in Michigan, how did one of their homes become like this?

Mitt Romney boyhood home

1860 Balmoral Drive

2.  Why hasn’t Mitt spoken about this?  Is he conflicted because he supports the efforts of Mayor Bing, but he also loves his old house?  Is Mitt doing more research on the plan before he speaks about it?

3.  What, if anything, should we Mitt supporters do about this?

Please try to answer these questions and feel free to ask any other questions you may have.  I’ll probably have more questions as I begin to wrap my head around this curious situation.

UPDATE: MLIVE has some more details and a quote from Mitt about the demolition:

Romney, who is considered a leading GOP presidential candidate for 2012, said “it’s sad” that his childhood home is being razed, “but sadder still to consider what has happened to the city of Detroit, which has been left hollow by fleeing jobs and liberal social policies.

UPDATE: The home is no more…

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7 Responses to Mitt Romney’s Boyhood Home Scheduled to be Demolished

  1. Bonnie says:

    1. Do we know that the house is even still owned by anyone in his family?

    2. I’m not sure why he would say something about the house. I know I’ve heard him speak about the situation in Detroit.

    3. I’m don’t know what we would or should do about it..I don’t think it’s that important, I guess (the house, that is, not Detroit).

  2. Illinoisguy says:

    Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States. I would hope that the house would be preserved. However, if Mitt or the rest of the family doesn’t care,then I guess I shouldn’t either.

  3. Jayde Wyatt says:

    There are no indications Romney will purchase his boyhood home. If he did, it could be misconstrued as a presumptuous move on his part. Should he become President of the United States, this house would become a historical site, a great tourist attraction, and a boost to Detroit’s economy.

    Here’s an easy-peasy way for Romney supporters to do something. I suggest we flood the City of Detroit with emails urging them to put the demolition of property at 1860 Balmoral Drive – Mitt Romney’s childhood home – on HOLD because they are sitting on a real potential money-maker. Compose a cordial paragraph and fire it off!

    Send emails to:

    Mayor Dave Bing:

    City council:

    City Planning Commission:


    Detroit Historic Commission (within Planning and Development Dept. See ): address, fax # and phone #s

    Historic Designation Advisory Board:

    Buildings and Safety Engineering:

    Next Detroit Neighborhood Initiative:

  4. pjean says:

    Unfortunately, saving one house will NOT save Detroit.

  5. SJ says:

    The article mentions Mitt lived in the house for five years before the family moved to another area. If Mitt lived in the other house longer, I imagine that would be the one to be preserved, if Mitt is elected president. Also, I doubt Mitt would want the taxpayers to foot the bill for what looks like a very expensive restoration project. The economy in Detroit is bad enough without spending hundreds of thousands in that way. If Mitt or others of the Romney family aren’t concerned about it, I don’t think we need to be. I don’t think this makes it on anyone’s priority list.

  6. scituate_tgr says:

    If John Kerry can divert/skim/steal $63million from the military budget to partially fund a shrine in South Boston for the murderer Ted Kennedy…or we could just organize a fundraiser.

  7. Yael says:

    In other real estate news, a mega-mosque is being built just steps away from Ground Zero.