The Chilmark historical commission will delay the demolition of a well-known house thought to have been a British headquarters during Grey’s Raid in 1778.

During a torrential spring rainstorm, about 15 people came out for a public hearing at the Chilmark town hall last Thursday, where commissioners heard from owner Catie Fuller and her fiancee, Erik Blake, about their efforts to save the house, or build a new one in its place.

Ms. Fuller had applied to demolish the house last month, sparking a wave of public concern but no clear alternatives. Since then, she said she and Mr. Blake (who is the Oak Bluffs police chief) have begun negotiations with the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust, which they said may be interested in restoring the 18th-century house.

“It’s beyond anything I could remotely begin to afford to redo myself,” Ms. Fuller told the commission, adding that the property had been on the market for about nine years with no buyers. She believed the preservation trust may be the last hope. “We are praying that comes through,” she said.

“They are going to weigh what the price of buying it and the price of restoring it would be,” said Mr. Blake, adding: “I feel like that’s probably the only group that could do it.”

Historical commission saw preliminary plans for new two-story cape, if house cannot be saved. — Alex Elvin

The trust currently owns 20 historic buildings, including five former homes in Edgartown and four historic landscapes. It recently acquired the Carnegie library building in Edgartown, which it plans to renovate as a visitor and education center.

Often referred to as The Great House, the two-story antique colonial on State Road has seen several changes over the years, including the addition of a rear ell and two large bay windows. A separate house on the property was built in 2003.

Ms. Fuller said the cost of restoring the original house could be in the millions, and she doubted whether it would survive a move. It could be disassembled, but she said building codes would likely prevent it from going up somewhere else.

Mr. Blake also presented preliminary plans for a two-story Cape that the couple hopes to build on the property. He said the trust would likely make a decision in three weeks, and asked that the commission alter its policy of requiring a minimum six-month delay period, shortening it to four months. But commissioners didn’t want to miss any opportunities.

“I’d hate to have us arbitrarily cut off,” commissioner John Flender said. “But on the other hand, I do not think that we should let the preservation trust drag their feet on this one.”

The commission voted unanimously to enforce a maximum six-month period, based on the house’s historic significance and inclusion in the town master plan.

If no solution is reached by Oct. 7, the town could issue a demolition permit.