This is an amazing story! A couple married for 24 years has been able to finally turn their life-long dream into a reality after they bought a dilapidated mid-19th century mansion in Memphis and renovated it to its past glory.
The James Lee House, as the mansion is called, had lain vacant for 60 years, after its latest owner had deeded the property over to the City of Memphis. Then, in 2011, the City sent out a Request for Proposals (RFP), looking for someone to restore the grand home and Jose and Jennifer Vel├ízquez responded. The couple’s plan was to invest $2.1 million in restoring the palace and they won — the City sold the house to Jose Velazquez for the sum of $1.00.
That was in August 2013 and eight months later was officially reopened. It was quite a transformation, as you will see below. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. The property deed for the historic James Lee House was signed over to Jose Velazquez for $1.00 by the City Council of Memphis on the proviso the property developed restored it and turned it into a bed and breakfast.
2. The couple pledged to invest $2.1 million into the grand home to restore it, reopening it on April 17 as a bed and breakfast.
3. Despite being abandoned for 60 years, which caused extensive damage, the pair were able to restore the house in 12 months.
4. The home had been on a 50-year lease to a historical association who had planned on turning it into a museum, but never did.
5. It now features five suites available on nightly terms, starting at $245.
6. The site was originally a farmhouse, but is now a luxurious guest house.
7. The restoration is believed to have cost at least $2.1 million.
8. Jose and Jennifer Vel├ízquez said the hardest part of the restoration process was finding people skilled enough to do the job.
9. Jose and Jennifer Vel├ízquez said the hardest part of the restoration process was finding people skilled enough to do the job.
10. The house was significantly depleted after sitting dormant for 60 years.
11. The couple said they had never renovated a home before, let alone a historic home.
12. The house required a complete overhaul, which is why the Memphis City Council sent out a RFP.
13. Sourcing a craftsmen that was knowledgeable of restoring plaster was difficult, Mr. Velazquez said.
14. The mansion also had some structural damage after decades of neglect.
15. The Victorian-style facade has been standing for over 100 years.
16. Jose Vel├ízquez (center — grey suit) and his wife, Jennifer (blue dress), dreamed of opening a bed and breakfast for 24 years, and on April 17 officially reopened the James Lee House in Memphis as just that.
And here is the video:
Source: The Daily Mail.
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