(Dec. 7, 2018) Despite hopes to preserve the century-old Victorian-style building on the corner of Talbot Street and Baltimore Avenue, the increasingly creaky structure was razed last Friday, closing the chapter on one of the resort’s earliest properties.
Glenn Irwin, Ocean City Development Corporation executive director, said since purchasing the “Taylor House,” property last year, owner Larry Payne’s initial restoration plans went awry.
“As he got more involved with the interior demolition, it became evident the building was a lot worse than he anticipated when he bought it,” he said.
Constructed in 1905, the Taylor House was listed at Lot 54 on the original 1875 plat of Ocean City.
“His intent from the beginning was to restore the building,” he said. “As he found out more about the lack of proper structural support, he started questioning whether he could do that.”
Irwin said Payne oversaw the entire structural evaluation process.
“You could look at the building, even before it was demolished, and it needed a lot of work on the exterior,” he said.
Numerous businesses have operated in the old Taylor House, including Common Grounds coffeehouse, Quicky’s Pizza, the Smoky Shop, Tai Ji Sushi, and the India Emporium, which relocated across the street last year.
Although design plans are still forthcoming, Irwin said Payne intends to rebuild a structure to reflect the now extinguished history.
“The new project will have to come through the city’s site planning process and we’ll be involved,” he said. “We’ll be reviewing, and we’ll work with the owner if he wants us to either as he develops the site plan or architectural details.”