The Olde North Chapel
I love historic buildings, especially the larger, grand ones! My first career choice was that of an architect and I was able to visit a firm located in a highrise in Detroit at the age of 11. It made a huge impact on me! I did not pursue that career path but have landed instead in a spectacular historic district and am the privileged owner of a 150 year old church building. I live in the pre-civil war home of one of the trustees of the original church building. I live where I work and have also acquired several other grand historic homes, all on my street, all had gone vacant.
The housing bubble burst and the Midwest has suffered tremendously, especially with regards to our historic properties. Tear downs are the norm. Few are funneling their resources into the preservation and adaptive reuse of these grand landmarks. My bank, although supportive, has strict guidelines, as all do, regarding lending. My profits are all reinvested into maintenance and improvements while awaiting the slowly creeping market values to rebound.
I have found myself in immediate need of some stabilization for the roof of this 3+ story barrel ceiling. An architectural firm and contractor have been employed, but the repairs well exceed the market value. Presently operated as a wedding chapel, I have plans to expand my revenue based on many ideas introduced at the Wedding MBA, a 5 day conference in Las Vegas and through consultation through our local SBDC. It is time to move from hobby to business and really make an impact on the historic enterprise area of our small city of Richmond.
My background in insurance, real estate and my formal business degree have served me well in this endeavor. I have also recently been appointed by the Mayor to the Historic Preservation Commission.
150 year old historic church building with original cathedral style windows and cathedral glass, a 3+ story barrel ceiling, baby grand piano, organ pipes and balcony. Presently operated as a wedding chapel and small banquet facility, it draws in couples from around our small community. I donate the building for use for not-for-profits, neighborhood meetings, neighborhood barbeques and promote historic preservation. We provide the building, decorations, wedding coordination services, an officiate and more, allowing the bride and her family to relax and have a beautiful, smooth operating ceremony of their dreams. Our banquet room, with kitchen, tables and chairs, and a small dance floor are available for small, intimate receptions of under 100 people.
I also own several multi-family properties on the street, as well as live on the same street, acting as a “leader” or “overseer” of the historic neighborhood. I have received recognition from the newspapers and the mayor for work I have done to improve the area, most recently being appointed to the Historic Preservation Association by the Mayor. I have been called “The Mayor of 11th Street” in jest. 🙂 My work here is not finished.
It allows me to put other money into repairing a roof. This allows for additional occupancy and cash flow. The chapel roof repair allows me to continue to rent the chapel for events and functions, without the risk of having to worry that it is unstable and at risk for falling. Honestly, it puts my money where my mouth is, that these buildings are worth saving!!
A loan of $10,000 helps me to get on with my business and not worry about so much about the repairs.