Check out this video clip to give you some insight into what we started with and how far we've come to create this truly unique venue that will provide an experience to last a lifetime.
This project starts and ends with community. The objectives are simple; save history, remove blight, stimulate revitalization, and build community. Many said that it could not be done, but all it took was a hammer and dedication.
This project wound not have been achievable without the outstanding service providers craftsmen, and volunteers that enabled use to save the home and retain more than 90% of all the original features. It is our honor to recognize and recommend all of these organizations and individuals
The home at 208 Bank Street (Maria's Lovers House) was built in 1910 and has been a loving home to more than a half-dozen families over the past century plus. In 1983 it became one of the key locations for the filming of Maria's Lovers. It sits proudly, about half halfway up Bank Street, and enjoys some of the best views of historic Brownsville. However over time as the town faced declines in both business and residents the home was abandoned and left to decay and be lost to time and mother nature. However, Iroquois Properties decided to take a chance and purchased the property with the small hope that it could be saved.
Upon entering the property for the first time, it was surprisingly concluded that there was a chance the house could be saved. Despite the lack of proper maintenance and the eventual 15 years of abandonment, the house had a solid foundation and roof, and would not succumb to neglect. That was all the momentum needed to go for it and save this wonderful bit of history.
It started with just being able to get on the property after 15 years of abandonment and use as a dumping site, our goal was simple the goal was to ensure access and safety of the site. After 16 30 cubic foot. dump truck loads of debris were removed from the property, the team tackled the initial interior clean up resulting in another 2 30 cubic-foot dumpsters of debris. As seen from the gallery below, the house was not visible from the road.
Now the real work needed to start. First, all the vines covering the house were removed and the quality of the siding. To everyone's amazement, the 110 year old siding was 95% intact and we were able to save the original tongue and grove wood siding. Prompt Quality Painting was called in to work on the exterior and repaint to protect the siding from any further decay. Then the team tackled three critical areas including raising the front and side porch, rebuilding the front retaining wall, and demolishing all the plaster and lathe down to the studs.
All new utilities and roof. Do it right or don't do it. So a brand new roof, HVAC, plumbing was put into the house to ensure all the modern conveniences we enjoy without taking way any of the house's charm.
Just about everything else before painting. The team leveled the stairwell, braced all the floors, added new fireplace facings, installed new tile floors in the kitchen and bathroom, refinished all the hardwood, fixed the original porch window, incorporate a half bath on the first floor, added new drywall, flooring in the attic, new glass block windows in the basement, a beautiful slate walkway and patio, additional natural stone patio, and refaced the walkway retaining wall, So much more was done than can be listed.
Painting, original trim fixed and repurposed, decorating and furnishing with 1940 or earlier antiques.
This project is a true collaboration and this could not be more evident than the partnership with Antiques on Broad. Owners Janice and Ernie Stitchick were have been instrumental in bring Maria's Lovers house back to the 1940's and with their resources have made it a reality.
Nice benefit is that they have two award winning stores with one located just 100 feet from the Maria's Lovers House at 200 Bank Street.