A year and a half later I was handed a letter as a friend said “You might be interested in this.” The letter was from the Historic Preservation Commission stating that the entire fraternity row area was being considered for historic designation. I thought “They are not going to tear that baby down!”
We pursued the new owners and got first in line to buy. We had a letter of commitment.
We had the financing. We were ready to go. But we couldn’t get insurance. No one wanted
to insure a building that had been abandoned now for almost five years. Without insurance
our financing could not be released.
Finally, the seller gave us until one particular Thursday to come up with the money or they
were going to sell the building to someone else. Wednesday night Barb and I went to the
midnight opening of The Two Towers with friends. Even in real life it felt like the Orcs were
coming over the walls.
I had called every person I knew asking if they knew anyone in the
insurance business who could help us get coverage. We were about to lose it again.
Thursday evening found me driving to yet another person’s office to go through their contact
list looking for an insurance connection.
building. Not good, I lamented and then I walked through all the futile steps we had taken
so far. He listened, then said “It looks like you’re going to have to close tomorrow.”
Thinking he hadn’t understood, I started to repeat all the steps we had taken…we had done
everything we could. He cut me off saying “It looks like you’re going to have to close
tomorrow. “I’ll wire you the money out of my account.”
It was a hair raising, arduous, joyous process. Sometimes I’d look at bulging walls we hadn’t opened up yet and feel sick to my stomach. My kids loved smashing through walls.