Sorg Mansion restoration taking shape in Middletown

Restoration to the Sorg Mansion is continuing, and changes are beginning to be evident to passersby — but just wait for the cleaning of the massive stone building scheduled this summer.

“We will be lightly cleaning the stone, power washing to take off some of the dirt,” said Traci Barnett, who owns the mansion with her husband, Mark. “It is not going to look like it did when it was new. But the original stone colors of orange and rose hopefully will come out.”

Barnett stressed the mansion would receive a gentle cleaning because they want to preserve the original stone work.

Since the Baltimore couple purchased the mansion in 2013, the slate roof has been replaced and the carriage house has also received a new roof. The mansion’s box gutters and internal gutters have also been repaired.

The mansion was built in 1887 by Paul J. Sorg, one of Middletown’s first industrialists and first multimillionaires. The three-story, 12-bedroom, eight-bathroom brick-and-stone Romanesque castle features 12-foot ceilings and fireplaces in every bedroom. There’s also a ballroom, formal dining room and library, and it still has much of the original stained glass and parquet floors.

The most recent restoration projects include the repair of crumbling portions of the wrap-around porch and recreating and repairing plaster walls and several large decorative medallions on the ceiling. Soon, the 16 stone porch balusters will be repaired or replaced.

By next summer, Barnett said she and her husband plan to move from Baltimore and into the mansion while the interior is completed. That will include the painstaking job of restoring the well-worn parquet floors.

Barnett said they are about two years away of realizing the plan of opening the Sorg as a bed and breakfast.

“But it could be sooner,” she said, noting they visit Middletown often to meet with contractors and see the progress.

The mansion has received $212,500 in tax credits from the Ohio Development Services Agency, and the total project to renovate the South Main Street property is estimated at nearly $1.32 million.

Prior to the Barnett’s purchase, the mansion has been home to dance and photo studios, a construction company and low-income apartments over the years.

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