January 18, 2022

Historic Jenkins House shines at its new location

One year after the new owners moved it two blocks, and 146 years after it was built, the Charles W. Jenkins House is completely renovated, and fully leased.

After having the house moved to Pine Street, Kelly and Co., house revivers, worked thousands of hours to restore one of the city’s finest examples of early Gothic revival architecture, Bob Kelly said last Friday afternoon during an open house.

Kelly spent a couple of hours showing guests through the building, which contains three apartments and two offices.

A year ago as he watched riggers move the house from Adams Street down York Street to Pine Street, Kelly said, the move would cost about $80,000, and renovating the old building would cost about $90,000, and take four months.

But, as renovation projects tend to, this one ran over.

“We worked pretty much part-time with a crew of four to six over a period of four months,” Kelly said. “It was a little more money and time than we’d planned. We came in 20 percent over budget.”

The 10 investors in the project seem happy with it, Kelly said. There are tax credits for renovating a historic building, but it’s not a bad investment, he said. “And some did it just to help save the house.”

The project involved installing a furnace and converting the forced hot air to baseboard hot water, replacing plumbing and wiring, and retrofitting a sprinkler system. In addition there was plenty of stripping, sanding and painting.

At least one of the tenants is pleased as punch with her company’s new quarters. “I’ve always worked with restoring old homes,” said Margaret J. Moore of Moore House Interiors. “Bob had asked me a few questions about what color to paint the house.

“The next thing I know, here I am moved in. It’s great. Look at the huge old fireplace with the Dutch oven,” she said. “It’s pleasant. It has lovely light and air.”

The challenges and troubles of renovating an old buildng failed to dim Kelly’s enthusiasm for the work. “I’d rather do this than build new homes,” Kelly said. “You never do two old homes that are the same. Figuring out how to put in new wires and pipes and make as few structural changes as possible is fun.”

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