Three Historic Buildings Owned By Solon Need Expensive Upgrades
A condition assessment of the Solon Historical Society Building, Lynch House and Bull House show that the historic homes need roughly $700,000 in upgrades.
A condition assessment of three historic buildings owned by the city of Solon show that they need roughly $700,000 worth of building code and handicap accessibility repairs.
Right now, only one of the structures, The Solon Historical Society building, is occupied and in use. The other two are historic homes, the Bull and Lynch houses, and are not being used right now.
City officials are now left grappling with what to do with the buildings, all located on Bainbridge Road, and whether the city should continue owning them, the Bull and Lynch houses.
Mayor Susan Drucker said it will be up to city officials to determine what the city does with these buildings.
"These are substantial amounts of money," she said.
Safety committee members, who were briefed this month on the condition assessment, say that they will have some decisions to make.
"We should at some point down the road, decide whether we even want to own those homes down the road," said Vice Mayor Ed Kraus. "It may be a better use for another entity to own those homes."
Councilman Bill Russo said: "What we’ll have to weigh is not only what’s needed but the usage of the properties and determine whether or not the dollars are justified based on the usage of the buildings."
The Solon Finance Committee had asked for a full accounting of the buildings' conditions before considering what to do with the buildings, and whether the city should spend money to fix them.
The assessment, performed by architecture firm Braun & Steidl, provides costs for both priority maintenance items and building code and accessibility items that would be needed if, for example, the city wanted to modify the buildings or start using the Bull and Lynch houses for some purpose.
Solon Historical Society Building
The most expensive building to fix would be the historical society building. The study identified $42,600 in maintenance costs and $310,000 in building code and accessibility repairs, including upgrading the fire protection system, disability access, electrical work and more.
Drucker said some of the maintenance items for the historical society building had already been taken care of in-house at a reduced cost. She moved forward on them because she felt that those safety issues needed to be addressed immediately.
"I didn’t feel comfortable with a building open to the public without addressing those issues," she said.
The Lynch House needs $28,520 in maintenance repairs, including a new roof, stormwater system, electrical work and more. The building code costs could reach $144,000, including meeting handicap accessibility requirements by reconfiguring the staircase and widening doors.
The Bull House requires $11,300 in maintenance repairs and about $146,000 in building code and accessibility repairs.