gREENFIELD – Nick Bohney knew that the majestic Victorian house on Main Street would need a little tenderness and love.
So Greenfield’s lawyer and his wife, Meg, took the plunge and bought it in 2016.
Since then, they have spent most of their weekends repairing the 19th century house, but it is a labor of love.
“We were looking for an old house with character, and we had the time, the energy and the desire to renovate one,” said Bohney, who is delighted to call the historic house his home.
The couple keep the historic character of the house in mind as they make renovations, give it aesthetic updates and a solid foundation to usher it into the 21st century.
“These historic homes have so much character and a lot of value,” said Meg Bohney. “You can move into one and it will last another 100 years easily.”
The Bohneys are among a handful of like-minded people who were recognized on Sunday by Greenfield Historic Landmarks, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the city’s historic district.
Three businesses and three owners were honored Sunday at Lizabuth Ann’s Kitchen, behind the James Whitcomb Riley Home & Museum.
Posh Salon and Spa, The Depot restaurant and Bradford Builders were recognized for the preservation and improvement of local buildings with adaptive reuse awards. Individual owners have been named for their preservation efforts at 433 West Main Street, 404 North State Street and 513 West Main Street.
“Greenfield Historic Landmarks is working hard on these awards to recognize those in our county who are doing a great job in saving our historic architecture,” said President Cathleen Huffman.
“It is important to preserve these structures because they help tell the story of our county, and we want to preserve them for future generations. Plus, the structures themselves are really neat – full of character, unique features and a ton of history, ”she said.
The awards range from residential preservation and restoration to commercial renovation and adaptive reuse, where a historic structure is used for a new purpose.
The winners include ambitious owners like the Bohneys as well as business owners who have invested in transforming local landmarks into popular downtown destinations, including a lounge and restaurant.
This year’s winners include Depot Street Investments – which converted the city’s historic grain elevator into a restaurant – and Posh Salon and Spa – which converted a former gas station into a magnificent hair care center.
Greenfield Historic Landmarks rewards those who renovate and preserve historic architecture since the nonprofit was formed in 1980.
“I hope this recognition encourages others to do the same,” Huffman said.
Bohney said he and his wife were honored to be among this year’s winners.
The couple have spent the past five years sprucing up their home – painstakingly removing wallpaper and adding new coats of paint, and tearing up the carpet to restore the original wood floors – but they didn’t. not finished yet.
“It’s a long way, but there is still a long way to go. It’s an ongoing project, ”said Bohney, who enjoys the process of making the house its own, while restoring some of its original features.
He and his wife received a lot of compliments on the structure of the carriage house which they added to the property behind the house. Although it serves as a garage, they took great care in designing it to look like a 19th-century carriage house that would blend in with the historic character of their home.
They aren’t sure what year the house was built in, but research has led them to believe it was built in the late 1880s. A photo they found of the house and the owner of Origin, Jerome Black, is now displayed in the house, along with a court register that lists Black as a witness in a case before the Indiana Supreme Court.
The book, found in an antique store, was of particular interest to Bohney, a lawyer for Wooten & Hoy in downtown Greenfield.
Bohney hopes his children – ages 1 and 3 – will grow up to enjoy living in a historic home as much as he and his wife.
“We were drawn to older homes because they have a lot of character. The location of this house was great, and my wife had a lot of great visions on what it could be, ”he said.
“Ours is particularly well built. You can see the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship that went into everything which has made them stand the test of time.
Since starting their renovation project five years ago, the Bohneys have noticed that a number of other neighbors are joining them, making improvements to their own historic homes.
“When you work at your house all day every weekend, you start to notice that a lot of other people are working there as well. It is a pleasant feeling to participate in the renovation and restoration of the historic downtown district, ”he said.