Pensacola city officials could make a decision next week on whether or not to demolish the historic 1901 John Sunday House, but one nearby business may not be supporting the demolition after all.
As we reported last week, Ever’man Cooperative Grocery & Cafe manager William Rolfs sent a letter to the city’s Architectural Review Board in March, supporting the home’s demolition and redevelopment.
Not so fast, Ever’man said in another letter sent to ARB members this week.
“The original letter sent to you by [Rolfs] reflects his personal opinion on the matter and does not reflect the opinion of the Ever’man board of directors,” the letter says. “While we naturally recognize that any decision regarding development of the John Sunday house will have an impact on our business, we do not have, nor would it be appropriate for us to take a position with respect to demolition of the house.”
The Sunday House, located at 302 West Romana Street just west of Pensacola’s downtown core, was built by John Sunday, an early African-American businessman who also served as a city alderman and state legislator. Developers led by Pensacola attorney Charles Liberis plan to build 27 townhomes on the 1.5 acre site, should the home’s demolition be approved. Opponents, citing the house’s age and Sunday’s prominence in Pensacola history, have argued for preservation.
Rolf’s letter, on Ever’man letterhead, cited the need for more affordable housing downtown and the Sunday House’s poor condition as the primary reasons behind the grocery’s support for tearing it down.