Transforming an Old Building
Our building wasn’t much to look at initially. Some people thought of it as an eyesore. We saw it as a great opportunity.
The building at 52 North Broadway had been vacant for some time, an all-too common example of what has happened to once thriving downtowns across Smalltown, America. It was boarded up when we first considered it for our firm, and looked as though its best days were well in the past.
When I came back to Peru so that my husband could run our family farm and businesses, I wanted to also contribute
to our community and our downtown. That’s what inspired me to take the leap to launch my own legal practice. To me, the decision was clear – instead of finding office space in a modern building on the outskirts of town, why not contribute to our downtown by locating our new firm in a historic space that needs improvement?
After driving past the boarded up buildings on Broadway on my daily commute to my former out of town law firm, it was obvious there were a number of possibilities for opening an office in one of those buildings. About a year ago, my husband purchased the building at 52 North Broadway, and we never looked back. In July of last year, I wrote about the history of the building and our renovation plans.
Fortunately, the prior occupants had undertaken some interior renovations. We were able to run some Internet and phone lines, freshen up the walls and floors and to use the office space in the front 25% of the building, while other major renovations on the façade took place. These renovations included a new roof, the replacement of glass into all of the boarded-up window spaces, the addition of new windows and brickwork in lieu of unsightly metal siding, and the addition of exterior awnings.
Revitalizing Downtown Peru by Bringing Back History & Supporting Local Businesses
Throughout the process, one of our primary objectives was to bring back the features of the original architecture. Our building was constructed as part of the 1905 Bearss-McCaffrey block, and remained solid as it sustained damage and wear and tear over its many lives. As we revitalized the structure, it was important to us to utilize local contractors to support the community.
Denham Building Service, Inc. helped as the general contractor for the façade, and Peru Glass and Screen and tackled the windows. Moser’s Floor Covering replaced the flooring, and we decorated the office with artwork from local artists like J.O. Buffington and Douglas Overmeyer, who have paintings and other artwork on display at the Miami County Artisan Gallery. Doris’ Drapery Boutique and The Potters Bench have also been instrumental in refreshing our interior. We do have a few more exterior items to complete. But the majority of the work is done.
Now that all of our renovations are nearly completed, we could not be happier.
Hopefully, our renovation will be only one part of a greater revitalization of downtown Peru. We would urge anyone interested in starting or relocating to our downtown to contact Rediscover Downtown Peru, where helpful information and resources can be obtained.