The events that transpired at Sandy Hook in Newtown, Connecticut, a little over two years ago were devastating; it shocked the world because of human capability. The house in Newtown where Adam Lanza lived is now in the process of being demolished. The house is now vacant, and has been since Lanza used to live there.
A typical Friday, December 14, 2012, children from ages five to ten were likely doing schoolwork and then shots were fired; students were told to hide wherever possible. One teacher, Victoria Soto, hid her children in the closet and told the gunman that they were in the gym and he killed her in the process. Twenty, six and seven year old children, and six staff died that day by the hands of Lanza. This was all before the shooter, Lanza, turned the gun on himself.
That morning, a few hours before the tragedy happened, he killed his own mother in her sleep, in the house where the two of them lived. That house is now going to be destroyed. One family has moved away from Newtown because their house was in viewing distance of the Lanza’s former residence. Even bus stops have been changed, because to them it was a reminder of the malevolence that once lived there.
It seems that everyone in Newtown agree that they want the Lanza house demolished; however, a few people want that to happen with a new house built on it. This, to some, would be a display of moving on, by not leaving the area empty; because, as Amy DeLoughy, a neighbor whose house sits across the street, describes “Leaving the property to nature would mean that there is still a sense of darkness in our neighborhood” and that “Love and light that a new family would bring would help heal some of the very deep wounds we are still tending to.”
Building a new house on the two-acre property would imply that people are going to live there. Building a new house there brings the question up of who would want to live there? The house as it is right now is a “constant reminder of evil that resided there” as described by neighbor Dave Ackart. This is especially true to people that pass by the house multiple times a day. The unanimous 10-0 vote by the council ruled in favor of tearing down the 3,100 square foot home. All of the “souvenirs” meaning everything in the house was incinerated.
The tearing down of the house means that tourists visiting Newtown will no longer consider this to be as much a tourist stop. Although the memory and the reminders will always be present; hopefully, they will not be constant. Lanza’s father, Ryan Lanza, agreed on making the house property of Newtown. The council wants the land undeveloped; if any profits are made from the house, the proceeds will not go to the town but to the victim’s and their families. This property was appraised in December 2012 at $146,280.
Newtown seems to be completely agreed upon to demolish the Lanza house; but whether or not to build on the land is still up for debate. Despite a new house being built, residents of the area will not forget; regardless if there is a new house or open land. At this point, there are no plans by Newtown City Council to build or improve on the property after demolition.
By Jacob Dowd
Photo by Claudia Heidelberger – Flickr License