GALION — Mary Linn is one of 16 residents who are happy to be back home at the Central Hotel on Public Square.
“I had moved out before the problems began,” said Linn, who had moved to Shelby after her husband and then her son, died. “I thought I didn’t want to be in Galion anymore, but then I realized how much I missed Galion and this place. It is my home.”
Linn moved back into the hotel in February.
The historic hotel underwent major structural renovations in the past two years.
Galion City Council had approved a $980,000 Revolving Loan Fund request from Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, a non-profit company created in 1989, to help rehabilitate the facility after major structural damage was found in the foundation of the building that was constructed before the Civil War.
“The property manager noticed structural damage in the basement and residents noticed floors sloping, cracks in the walls and ceilings,” said Hal Keller of the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, owner of the building.
The city’s loan was issued in addition to a $2.5 million investment by the Columbus-based company.
Keller said a group of investors, including local banks, also contributed to the costs of the $5 million reconstruction of the building that required residents of the apartments to relocate for a period of time.
“We had never ever seen what was occurring here at Central Hotel,” said Keller. “The bottom line was that the building was unsafe. We had to relocate the residents.”
The work to the building was completed by Ruscilli Construction.
State representative Wesley Goodman spoke during the grand re-opening event on Monday and had completed some research on the building.
“Thomas Edison stayed here and Alexander Graham Bell actually completed some of his testing on the telephone at this hotel,” Goodman said.
The revolving loan provided by the city did not cost tax payers money.
“It’s a building in Uptown Galion, but it’s your home,” Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary said to the residents that attended the event in the lobby of the hotel. “We really never lost sight of that and we wanted to do what we could to make this happen.”
Jennifer Kuns of United Bank, one of the investors in the project, and Andee Wildenthaler of the historical society were on hand to celebrate the grand re-opening of the hotel.
“This is a historical building that has been saved and is an asset to our community and the residents who live here,” said Wildenthaler.
Gloria Snyder has lived at the Central Hotel since March 1.
“I like the fact that I can live downtown. We are close to stores, banks, restaurants. We have an indoor laundry facility and we even can get to our mail inside the building. It’s a safe, beautiful and convenient place to live,” said Snyder as she ate breakfast in the community room of the building with Linn.
Kara Chaplin, manager of the building, said there are 30 apartments with only 16 rented at this time.
“We are renting apartments,” Chaplin said.
For more information, call 419-462-5950 to schedule an appointment.