Exterior renovations to the historic Bull home are substantially complete, with pieces of the past finding their place on the Bainbridge Road structure.
Public Works Commissioner Bill Drsek said history is found right at the front door, which was the original door from the former historical Lynch home next door, which met the wrecking ball last year.
The original hardware is also in place on the door, as well as the stained glass in shades of mauve, blue and yellow.
“We wanted to have some part of that history,” Mr. Drsek said.
Work began last spring by Regency Construction out of Brook Park, which wrapped up the project late last year. The work on the home’s exterior amounted to about $210,000. Plans are to address the home’s interior in 2022.
Leading into the home, the front porch features the original ship lap siding, with the entire home featuring cedar siding to give it the original historical effect, Mr. Drsek said.
The home was taken down to the studs, he continued, with the original foundation being preserved. The front porch was entirely rebuilt and will be used in the future for small gatherings or Solon Center for the Arts events.
A handicap accessible ramp leads up to the porch.
“This whole front porch is brand new,” Mr. Drsek said.
Veneer barn stone which matches the existing barn stone on the foundation serves as the base of the porch. The porch was the home to a colorful Christmas tree last month, erected and decorated by the art center.
“We are receiving a lot of positive comments about the front porch and back deck,” Mr. Drsek said of community input.
The back deck features sliding glass doors leading into the home’s kitchenette. That area was an addition to the original 1835 structure named for the founder of the city, Lorenzo Solon Bull. The original building stops at the wall of the family room.
Mr. Drsek explained that the back deck will be used for art center programming, but can also serve as a viewing area if the city moves forward with plans for an amphitheater behind the house.
“There was a lot of detail that went into this project to make it as close to historical as we could and still be able to use it for what the art center proposes,” he said.
The home received a new roof back in 2019 and all new windows.
Plans are for the Bull home to be surrounded by a bicentennial park adjacent to the nearby Solon Historical Society, Mayor Edward H. Kraus said.
He said that with the demolition of the Lynch home, the whole idea was to clear the land for a park, which could be used as a location for future farm markets, the mayor said.
“We will be able to combine it with the historical society, and it will be an area people can stop and see the history of the community,” Mayor Kraus said. Historic markers may be utilized as well as interactive videos.
It is hoped that the Bull home contain artifacts to tell the story of the city, the mayor added.
His administration and City Council decided to hold off interior work until 2022 based on last year’s economic state due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We made a conclusion it is something we can wait on due to the pandemic,” Mayor Kraus said, adding that they were not able to host events with large crowds anyway.
“It’s a lot of work and a lot of money, and I want to be able to use what we can this year, which is the outdoor area,” he said.
Interior work is estimated at about $190,000.
As part of the interior work proposed, the wall between the kitchen and family room will be removed to open the space, Mr. Drsek explained. Plans call for downsizing the kitchen, replacing the floors, painting the walls and upgrading the electrical system.
The city also plans to work with a consultant on the landscaping this year.
Preserving the Bull home, at 34045 Bainbridge Road, is suggested in the city’s master plan.
“I’m looking forward to getting it all done in 2022,” Mr. Drsek said.