Kevin & Darya Rose responds:

Kevin & Darya Rose

After reading through a few of the comments we wanted to write one final note to everyone here on this thread.

Here is more background on our purchase:

We purchased this home with the intent of a major remodel, interior and exterior — updating the house and making it more contemporary. Historical restoration was never our intention. Our original plan was to use the existing foundation and frame, and maybe extend the patio more into the yard area. There are several other contemporary homes in the neighborhood that blend in beautifully. That's how we saw ourselves integrating into the neighborhood.

Going into the purchase we specifically checked to make sure that the home was not listed on the National Historic Registry, or the Portland Historic Registry, if listed, there are major restrictions on changes/additions. We’re not here to destroy a historically significant house. The word came back that it wasn’t on either list. If it had been on either official registry we would have stayed far far away ... end of story.

There is a 3rd list called the Portland Historic Resource Inventory List, this is a list of “potentially significant structures”, it was listed here, so we had an architect and contractor inspect our property, they assured us there is nothing historically significant, thus the reason it had never been added to the two lists above. This list is voluntary, so we simply asked to have our name removed.

After the inspections we were properly alerted to several areas that needed to be addressed. Electrical, plumbing, foundation/basement work, and asbestos. It was clear this was going to be a large project, but one we were willing to take on, as it was “an old house with good bones”. We then had four remodel options mocked up and had three contractors give estimates. The costs were higher than we anticipated, and we knew we could never recoup that kind of money on a 100 year-old house. We then explored new construction, as it was clear to us that the cost of repairs was outweighing the cost/benefit of building new.

We never intended to deceive anyone, as some of you have accused. We simply wanted to create a beautiful home for our family. So where do we stand? We’ve offered the house back to the original seller. We’ve encouraged him to take back the house, fix the asbestos and other issues, then resell it. If that doesn’t happen then we’re going to proceed forward with deconstructing and donate everything to charity so that it can be reused and live on.

Thanks for listening,

Kevin & Darya

Posted on June 20, 2014
  • Chris Michaud PORTLAND, OR
    • 7 months ago

    There is nothing here that is illegal and as a Portlander with a family I applaud the personal success as Mr. Rose has achieved.

    That said, just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you should. Is it legal to fart in church? Yes. Should you? No. Tearing down this house in a town where people are passionate about stuff like this is a very loud fart in church that will not be forgotten.

    I presume the Roses have some desire to engage with the Portland community at various functions. I don't believe they have properly gauged the level of ostracism that they'll experience by entering the community in this way. Community DOES matter, no matter how well off you are. You don't move to a new town by driving up and down main street with your middle finger out the window. It's poor judgment, and a smart person shouldn't need to be reminded of that.

    • 7 months ago

    Kevin, unlike pretty much everyone else invested in this property and in Portland, I didn't learn who you are through the media about this issue. I met my husband thanks to Digg. Our first interactions were in the Diggnation forum on Rev3. I'm AriaStar, and he's Popltree2. We have both met long-term, dear friend there. When I still lived in Silicon Valley, I was a regular at Digg/nation events, whether that was MacWorld, filming of live shows, focus groups, you name it. Jay even gave me that nifty bottle opened you and Alex used to use on the show. I can see it from where I'm sitting. My husband and I both still wear Digg apparel. When we finally managed to conceive, we considered naming our child, if a boy, Kevin Joel Alexander, after you and Alex, for hosting the show that resulted in us meeting, and after Joel, aka RabidBadger on the Rev3 forum, for breaking the ice between us. Literally without you and Alex, I would not have met Cody, and we would not have Charlotte. YOU altered my life more drastically than anything else.

    So when I first heard you were planning a move to Portland, my first thought was excitement. I know you're an Apple guy. Of course I know you're an Apple guy. There's a new Apple flagship here that's gorgeous, a whole city block, and my husband works there. I thought you'd probably stop in the new store, and thought about how cool it would be to introduce you to Charlotte and to thank you for starting the website and show that led to her existence.

    But then I heard about this house, and started reading. What you are talking about even here is some updating, not demolition. Other people in that neighborhood who talked to you ALL walked away from meeting you with the impression that you were going to preserve the home. Am I to believe that someone I know to be capable of clarity in his speaking would somehow accidentally mislead many people? Is anyone supposed to believe that you bought this home without due diligence? That you bought this home prior to discovering how much work would be needed? Frankly, that doesn't speak well for Google for hiring you. Who buys a home without getting thorough inspections and estimates on planned work before deciding whether or not to proceed with purchase?

    Frankly, at this point, no one believes that you ever planned anything other that a complete demolition from the start. You say you intended to do X, but then after purchase, you got the estimate. Uh huh. See, that right there is a red flag.

    Several independent reports have confirmed that this house was removed -- by you -- from the historical registry, and that because new construction in planned, the wait to proceed is waived. Citing the fact that it is not NOT on the register questions your integrity further.

    A neighborhood is about more than the individual. It is about a community. When you decide to buy a property with historical significance to an area, one with a lot of meaning to the neighborhood, tell the new neighbors X, do Z, then try to state later than you really meant Y even though Z is what's happening, then you are violating that community. You have the legal right, but you are going to have to live with the results of having ignored that community when you decide, as an outsider, to take away from the history of an area.

    Since I have a vested emotional interest in everything that happens regarding Digg and its founders, and I'd really much rather send the proverbial thank-you basket (though I'm sure a box of baked goods shaped like apples would probably freak you out since I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have remembered meeting me), I would like to know how you managed to mislead so many people. More than one or two, and it looks intentional. Also why did you remove the house from the registry upon which it had been placed, and why are you now claiming it wasn't on any registry? I want to hear your explanation for the discrepancies here, and why you are so willing to ignore the preexisting community and establish yourself as an outsider instead of integrating by embracing the history Portland has to offer. I really don't want to end up disliking you, and would really rather continue being a fan, though no matter what, I will be grateful for your role in my life, but it's really hard when things just aren't adding up, and you're dead-set on destroying a home with significance to this area.

  • Tracy Z. PORTLAND, OR
    • 7 months ago

    If we could raise enough money, we could pay to have it moved. I would love to save this house and have been calling house movers to get estimates.

  • Alvina Dreke PORTLAND, OR
    • 7 months ago

    Hello Darya. I've just subscribed to your blog Summer Tomato. I particularly like April's article "Nutrition for the Soul: Lessons from the Worlds of Shoulds and Musts" in which you quote your friend Elle Luna: "At their core, Should and Must represent competing motivations. Should is our responsibility to others and the world at large. Must is our responsibility to ourselves. Sometimes these overlap, but often they do not. That is when we need to make a choice."

    Well said and appropriate not only in the context of making healthy food choices, but within the context of the controversy over the future of your house. You and your beloved are faced with a choice: should you raze it and start over with your own vision, or should you respect your neighbors, sell the property as-is to someone else, and move on? What is the Must in this instance? What is the imperative? If I had to guess it would be to create a safe and beautiful home for your family. You expressed this in your post of June 20th. But Should you destroy a structure that means so much to the neighborhood in which you have chosen to live?

    Darya, I hope you're reading this. I hope you make the right decision for your family and for the "world at large" -- your neighbors (and potential friends!) in this lovely city.

    Vina D

    • 7 months ago

    Good Morning Kevin & Darya,

    Maybe you could put this gorgeous gem on the market so someone who is willing and able to fix it up can do so? I bet your real estate agent can find an empty lot upon which you can build a new gorgeous house for your family without spending money on deconstruction.