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Can the new owner legally demolish the historic Orton Plantation house?

Andrew Dunn
Orton Plantation

The Orton House on the grounds of Orton Plantation Gardens was originally 1 1/2 stories when it was built in 1725. Renovations to the house were added in 1840 and 1920. (StarNews file photo)

Orton Plantation has no protection from being demolished.

While the site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been since 1973, there are no state or federal laws that prevent a land owner from altering or tearing down the building, said Claudia Brown of the N.C. State Historic Preservation Office.

Nor does Brunswick County have any ordinances in place protecting historic properties, Planning Director Leslie Bell said, though the county is looking into them.

Billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Moore Bacon purchased Orton Plantation late in 2010, and the site has been closed for renovations since June 2010.

The new owners have not publicly stated what their intentions are for the property.

Dredging has been planned for the rice fields, and forests have been timbered to restore long-leaf pines. Hundreds of items from the house were sold at auction last month.

User-contributed question by:
Eugene Koenig

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One Response to “ Can the new owner legally demolish the historic Orton Plantation house?”

  1. On August 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm Andrew wrote:

    In your latest MyReporter article regarding Orton – you may want to add/mention the fact that Orton was originally built and owned by Roger Moore – an ancestor of current owner Louis Moore Bacon.

    One could make a case that he bought his family property and can do with it as he sees fit.

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