One of Monroe’s oldest homes set to be demolished, neighbors saddened over loss of historic landmark

Home built in the 1850s to be torn down

MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - If you have lived in the Union County area for very long, you’ve likely seen the Laney Lee house.

It’s been around since the 1850s in the heart of downtown Monroe, but it won’t be around much longer.

For some in town, that news is bringing back a flood of old memories at the house.

“I visited there as a child,” said Sarah Hasty.

Sarah Hasty remembers walking up the steps, through the threshold of the grand Laney Lee house.

“It was just very special to be invited into that home. They had beautiful books, china, silver and crystal, so when you went there you just needed to have on your birthday party dresses,” said Hasty.

Walking up to Laney Lee’s grand chimneys just felt impressive, especially when Hasty was there for a special event with the lady of the house.

“She loved to have elegant tea parties for us little girls,” said Hasty.

That elegance remembered by other natives who have gone by Laney Lee’s shady trees for years.

“I actually taught school with one of the owners, Margaret Lee, I remember seeing her outside working on weekends and after school,” said Linda Hagler.

The Laney Lee house was first built in the 1850s and was owned by a family. Then it passed into ownership of the Episcopal Church next door. Now plans to have the house demolished are set.

“It made me feel bad for the former owners who owned the house because it was a very elegant house in its time,” said Robert Hagler.

“It’s sad but it’s very understandable if there’s nobody with enough resources to restore it,” said Hasty.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church released this statement about their decision to demolish the home:

On May 13 the City of Monroe’s Historic District Commission granted St. Paul’s Episcopal Church a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) to demolish the Laney-Lee House. As one of the oldest residences in Monroe, this house is a matter of deep concern for preservationists, neighborhood activists, and others. It has also been an integral part of St. Paul’s history, and our parishioners have nearly two decades worth of poignant memories connected with it.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

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