A historic placard which once was on the door now serves as decor.
LENOX, Mass. — The historic Walker House has found new life.
Allegrone Companies just completed a $1.5 million renovation of the building, which most recently served as a bed and breakfast, to create eight high-end rental units.
"It was in tough shape, at the end of its use and in time for a new life. But it is a very important project and very important building for the community and for the town," Louis Allegrone, company president.
The residence at 64 Walker St. dates back to 1804, when it was the home of William Walker. It switched hands a few times after that and eventually was owned by the Rockwell family. It was passed on to the Curtis family and, in the 1960s, it was gifted to Bordentown Lenox School as a dormitory. More recently, the late Richard Houdek and his wife, Penny, ran the Walker House for 34 years as a bed and breakfast.
In 2014, the bed and breakfast closed and the building remained on the market, with many buyers backing away because of the condition of the structure.
"We didn't want to see it taken down. It had been on the market for a while, it is in the historic district in Lenox and we specialize in historic restoration. It looked like a beautiful property that needed someone to give it a new life," Allegrone said.
Allegrone closed on the property in December 2015 for $585,000 and took on the 14-month project. The house had fallen into significant disrepair but Allegrone worked to both change the use to apartments while maintaining the historic features. Allegrone said projects like that typically pose a number of challenges in working with the footprint and layout of the building.
The company put in brand-new mechanical systems in the renovation while keeping the exterior facade looking the same as it has in the past. Allegrone said the focus was to restore it while keeping the "rustic" historic features.
"It's an exciting project," Allegrone said.
The result is 10,000 square feet of high-end apartment rentals in downtown Lenox, where there is a shortage of such housing options. On Wednesday, the company held an open house to show off its work, which drew many visitors.
"Four of the eight were pre-leased before they were completed. Part of the goal of the project was to expand the options in downtown Lenox for rentals," Allegrone said.
The rent ranges from $1,800 to $2,500, depending on the unit. More information about them can be found here.
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