The Stage House Inn was built in 1798 as a private home. The building has been a tavern, school, convent, church, storage facility and more. With so many preceding renovations, it was considered a financially questionable development opportunity. A local developer with strong community ties purchased the dilapidated building in 2016, to restore it into another past iteration of itself: an inn.
As the renovation progressed, the design team became enamored by the three-hundred-year history of the building. While the project required stripping down to the building’s historic timber frame to repair the existing structure, time-honored fabric was uncovered and preservation became imperative to the program. The local historical society and the community was enlisted to appraise the restoration process. Original features were carefully preserved and incorporated into the design, such as painted wall paper, mantlepieces, tin wall coverings and ceilings and the building’s original staircase. A glass smoke enclosure on the third floor now meets modern building codes while maintaining visibility of existing stair and rail. Other emblematic building elements, damaged during past renovations, were rehabilitated, such as the wide front porch and a prominent cupola (now concealing the building’s energy recovery ventilation system). The client delighted in each historic discovery, while simultaneously benefitting: uncovering iconic details and structure worth preserving reduced interior design and new fit-out expenditures.
Today the Stage House Inn is nestled on the corner of Paul Street and Main Street in downtown and boasts 20 guest suites, a private function space and a restaurant open to the public. Within the inn, artifacts of the building’s historical evolution have been integrated, including details surrounding the visits of past notable guests (President James Monroe! General Lafayette!). Guests experience echoes of a colorful past through a strong bond of past and present.