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Medina mansion will be transformed into event venue, rooms for overnight stays

This is the architect’s rendering of Stonehurst showing a three-story addition with ground to roof glass on the north side of the building.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 11 December 2019 at 10:37 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: This is Stonehurst (also known as the Luther Mansion) at the corner of West Center and Prospect streets, which is being restored by Roger Hungerford’s company, Talis Equity Historic Restoration. Tales is also working on major projects at Bent’s Opera House and former Medina High School.

MEDINA – The house at 304 West Center St. is an architectural gem, a one-of-a-kind mansion built of pink Medina sandstone.

Knowing his dedication to his hometown, it’s no surprise Roger Hungerford should include it among the historic buildings he is seeking to preserve.

“Driving by it every day with its central location, it was a shame to see it deteriorating,” said Tessa Hartway, director of Marketing for Hungerford’s company, Talis Equity. “The home has so much character.”

Stonehurst, as it is known, was built in 1861 by A.M. Ives, who owned the first harness trade in Medina and was also involved in the produce business of Swan, Ives and Whalen. Sometime in the 1800s, the home was expanded. The servants’ quarters were in the attic, Hartway said.

The more-than-5,000 square foot home sits on little more than half an acre at the corner of West Center and Prospect streets. When Ives died, his widow sold the home in 1898 to Homer J. Luther, vice president of the Union Bank, resulting in the home’s designation as the “Luther Mansion.”

The home has had a succession of owners, not the least of whom was Ron Balcerzak, a construction management engineer. He purchased the home in 1979 and undertook considerable renovation to restore the home to its place as one of Medina’s finest pieces of architecture. He worked years to restore portions of the home that involved marble, crystal and parquet flooring.

Later owners removed many of these costly restorations. After years of neglect, the property suffered serious deterioration. Talis Historic Restoration purchased the home in March 2018 and began the task of repairing and restoring the property.

“We’re telling the building’s story,” Hartway said.

This open stairway in Stonehurst (also known as the Luther Mansion) will be preserved during its current restoration by Talis Equity. The basement will house a modern kitchen for catering staff.

The interior of the home will receive a full makeover, as much of it has been destroyed. Redesign will include improvements to add modern architectural elements to contrast with the historic character, increasing the number of bedrooms and developing the attic into livable space. These improvements include a three-story addition on the north end, with ground-to-roof windows.

“This addition will tie in with the rest of the historic home,” Hartway said. “We don’t want to change its integrity or its footprint. Just add on to it.”

Photo by Ginny Kropf: Chef Lionel Heydel, left, and sous chef Jose Ocasio stand in front of the sandstone wall which once formed the north wall of Stonehurst, until owners put an addition on. Another addition to add a third story on the north with glass from ground to roof is being planned during its current restoration by Talis Equity Historic Restoration.

The basement will be outfitted with a modern kitchen. The exterior will be fully restored to its original grandeur, including extensive landscaping. The new owner’s vision includes an elaborate garden and full renovation of the carriage house on the property.

When complete, the home will be an event venue with rooms available to stay overnight as an Airbnb.

The upstairs rooms will be available for overnight stays.

Carpet will be removed and wooden floors will be showcased.

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