Couple plans continued rehab of ‘The Alley’
Boards are flying and so is the dust down along River Street, but not for any of the reasons it used to.
Wayne and Mickey Shaw said they purchased two buildings across the street from their bed and breakfast to help spruce up the neighborhood near the site of the place they put so much time and money into.
The reason they purchased two buildings along River Street, what is still referred to by many as ‘The Alley,’ is to protect the investment they have in the Stationhouse B&B.
Mickey Shaw gave the Sentinel a tour of the area while renovations took place two stories above.
“I’m excited, I like doing this kind of stuff,” she said.
The first thing anyone moving down River Street would notice is how open the area suddenly looks off to the downhill side: the result, she said, of removing the roof and the third story from what used to be Pug’s Pub, and a few other major changes to the area.
With the roof out of the way, and the building trimmed by a floor, it will pave the way for two single-family apartments when renovations are completed.
Shaw said she hired Phil Myer to put on the roof and Lee Thomas to install a concrete floor in the basement.
Both crews were working Thursday.
Shaw said when the opportunity came up they bought the buildings with the plan to fix them up and make the area, quite simply, more attractive.
The improvements by the Shaw’s add to work already done by Peter and Louise Beyer on another alley property. Over the past two years that couple took a shell of a building and turned it into two single-family apartments. Their building is the third in line after the Shaw’s two, beyond the vacant lot. The Beyer’s are currently hard at work on the West Main Street residence adjacent the Granville Engine and Hose Company.
Shaw said she even thought the improvements in the area might help the large brick building at the corner, which now sits vacant, sell.
A new pitched, shingled roof will cover the building when work is completed.
The structure will continue the Shaw diet plan by losing the front porch closest to the road.
This will allow some green space to return to the area in front of the building and will help to create a visually pleasing space.
Additional porches and exterior attachments will also come off, she said, when the current external staircase is moved inside, like it was when the building was new.
Shaw said they have been able to harvest hickory boards from the eliminated top floor for reuse, as well as some other detail pieces. The aged lumber will likely become a hardwood floor in the near future, she said.
Before being occupied again, Shaw said additional improvements will be made to the exterior of the building. Because this is not an extensive restoration project, it should take less time and effort than the former train depot they turned into their bed and breakfast, she said. This also because they aren’t doing everything themselves this time around.
“After (completing) the Depot this will be a walk in the park,” Shaw said.
The first building they actually purchased on the river side of River Street will receive the Shaw treatment next, some time in the near future. They plan to remove the porches as well as a wall that covers a gap between the two buildings. This is, to no one’s surprise, the site of another bar that has gone by a number of names over the years.
Shaw said they had an agreement with the current tenants that allows them to stay as work continues next door; this work will not start immediately.
Around the back, along the shore of the Mettowee River, the area has had debris removed and bushes and small trees cuts down to make way for improvements along the 143 feet of riverside land by Johnson Lawn and Landscape.
Shaw said debris should soon be hauled in to level the ground between the Slate Valley Museum and the apartment buildings. It will all be brought up to one grade and seeded for grass following the removal of remaining structure on the property, an aging storage shed. Once the small red shed is demolished and carted away and the cement pad has been ripped up, filling will begin.
Shaw said she had already heard from Slate Valley Museum director Mary Lou Willits who was pleased with the planned improvements adjacent to that property.
Another aspect of the plan was looking toward retirement and the days when they will not be living at the B&B any longer.
“Eventually we’ll want to have something smaller,” she said.