Is the Bull house in Solon turning into a money pit? The house on Bainbridge Road built in 1835 and the city are both named for Lorenzo Solon Bull, son of Isaac Bull, one of the early settlers from Connecticut.
Preserving a piece of city history is commendable. Yet, the cost seems high. Original renovation estimates hit $365,000, but City Council cut expenditures back to $210,000 by focusing on the exterior upgrades.
Driving past the structure, a passer-by might mistake the house for a random structure in disrepair. Is it worth the cost of renovation? Council just this month approved another $8,000 needed to get the house up to federal standards for accessibility. Now the cost is $218,000 for outside renovations. Eventually the inside of the house will need to be updated. More money.
Right now, plans call for the house to be used for extended gallery space for the Solon Center for the Arts as well as private rental space. But what is the value in renovating a 185 year-old-house if no one in town knows the significance of the structure? We wonder, are these taxpayer dollars being well spent?
To be worthwhile, the city needs to launch a permanent display at the Bull house recounting the history of the house, early settlers, the Bull family, growth of the city’s industrial area and other significant times in Solon. If the city is going to spend that much money on fixing up the Bull house, why not make it meaningful?