Otoe County Commissioners agreed Tuesday to simultaneously seek bids for demolition and a buyer for the Duff mansion located near Nuckolls Square Park in Nebraska City.
The home of a pioneer family, the mansion was donated for county use in 1949. It was last used as office space by Nebraska Health and Human Services, but has been vacant for several years.
Commissioners said they would offer the building and land for sale until their last meeting in January.
Mark Easter, real estate agent and auctioneer, said the county could auction off individual architectural antiques from the mansion, such as the main staircase and doorjamb woodwork, or sell the architectural features together to one bidder.
Before deciding how to dispose of the property, commissioners agreed to seek a buyer who would preserve the building, which commissioners described as beautiful, historic and unique.
Roy Schneider of Duff's Friendship Villa said the building's fate will not impact Duff's Friendship Villa, which operates a 63-bed nursing home on the same block but does not rely on the mansion itself.
If the lot were cleared, he said, a nice outdoor area and storage building could be established in its place.
Commissioners said they would prefer if someone wanted to use the building for a home or business that is appropriate for its neighborhood, such as a bed and breakfast.
The house is the former home of Edwin Duff, the son of an Irish immigrant and president of the Duff Grain Company until 1934.
The house was donated to the county in 1949 for use as a nursing home.