Renovation is about 50 percent complete on The Beecher House, one of Somerset’s most historically significant landmarks.
Mark T. Wright, president of Oracle Design Group Inc., Louisville, said all 62 apartments in the five-story structure will be ready for occupancy by the first of November. Renovation will continue into February, he said.
The $4.5 million project to completely redo the historic building began last September. Wright said the current 24 residents of The Beecher House have been relocated inside the building while work is under way. Eighteen of the renovated apartments were complete as of Tuesday and four more were scheduled to be finished this week.
“We’re trying to finish one floor a month,” said Wright. The building has five floors.
Wright’s dream for The Beecher House is “ ... to preserve the magnificence of the entire building and provide an energy efficient, clean and safe place for people to live.”
The facility at 203 South Main Street will remain Section 8 housing for elderly and disabled under a federal program authorizing payment of rental housing assistance to private landlords on behalf of low-income households.
Name of the building will continue to be The Beecher House. Wright said the structure recently was relisted on the National Register of Historical Places. It was originally placed on the national registry as The Hotel Beecher on August 14, 1984.
“We’ve put on a new roof ...installed new insulation, heating and air conditioning, electrical wiring, new elevators, and storm windows,” said Wright. The facade of the building is being restored to its origi-nal appearance.
Wright and his wife, Caryn Winter, were asked by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Lou-isville to come to Somerset and cons-ider The Beecher House renovation project. They came and eventually pur-chased the property from Bill Denney and Sons. It is one of several renovation projects Wright and Winter currently have under way in Kentucky.