Frank Quinn, like a lot of people, wishes he had more money, maybe even lots of cash, as in a cool $1 million.
Quinn, program manager for Heritage Ohio, an agency that specializes in the preservation and revitalization of historic homes, said he’d use that money to purchase and remodel the Sorg Mansion in Middletown.
“It’s an absolute stunner inside and out,” Quinn said Tuesday, Sept. 15, after touring the Middletown landmark with Heritage Ohio board member Fritz Harding, Coldwell Banker, Oyer Inc. listing agent Lynn Tankersley, Rachel Lewitt of Finkelman Realty — which purchased the property in 1939 — and other interested parties.
The Sorg Mansion, a three-story, 35-room brick-and-stone Romanesque castle was built in 1887 by one of Middletown’s great industrialists and first millionaires, Paul J. Sorg, who was recently named to Heritage Ohio’s “top opportunities” list.
The 15,000-square-foot mansion nominated by local businesswoman Adriane Scherrer was the only property in Butler County to be named to the list.
The property, which includes the mansion, duplex and two-story carriage house, is listed for $525,000.
Scherrer invited Quinn and Harding — who analyze buildings’ architecture — to town.
They estimated the cost to rehab the Sorg at about $50 per square foot, or $750,000 for the property, and suggested Lewitt apply for the mansion to be recognized on the National Registry of Historic Places.
This recognition would help the owners obtain federal and state grants to defray rehabilitation costs and would widen the scope of potential buyers, they said.
Lewitt said she wants the Sorg — an “extremely important property” for the city — to return to its glory and assist in downtown’s rebirth.
The home features 12-foot ceilings, fireplaces in every room, beveled glass in bookcases, beautiful wooden carvings, and Italian tile and marble. Of the 35 rooms, 17 units have been converted into efficiency apartments since 1939, Lewitt said. Still, much of the notable craftsmanship remains today.
Tankersley said several suitors have expressed interest in the property, with most indicating they’d turn it into a bed and breakfast.
Scherrer hopes the tour and publicity it generated gets local investors “serious about this.”
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