THE AMOS GOULD HOUSE, on the corner of Oliver and N. Washington streets, was completed in 1860. Mary Lena was the last member of the Gould family to live in the house and eventually the historic building was purchased by the city of Owosso in 1979.
During a Monday evening virtual meeting, the Owosso Historical Commission discussed replacing the roof, constructing ADA access and restoring the porches and soffets.
In 2018, residents approved to levy 1.0-mills to provide funding to upgrade parks and aid in preserving and restoring OHC properties.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
The Owosso Historical Commission (OHC) met virtually on Monday, March 8. Commissioners present included Dave Acton, Owosso Mayor Pro Tem Sue Osika, Mark Erickson and Gary Wilson. New commissioners include Albert Martenis (previous OHC director) and Debra Adams. Martenis was available for the meeting, but Adams will be joining in future meetings. Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne, as announced last month, is acting secretary and treasurer. Commissioner Betsey Galloway was absent.
The primary issue of discussion during the meeting was centered on the Gould House on the corner of Oliver and N. Washington streets. OHC has separated the initial wave of restoration into three areas, including replacing the roof, reconstructing the porches and soffits, and adding an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access to the historic structure. The overall project is being broken into these three projects because the roof and ramp projects can be bid out to traditional construction companies, but the porch and soffit project should be handled by an organization with an understanding of the historic attributes of the architecture.
The Mayotte Group Architects of Lansing, according to Henne, have stated they will assist the city with project bidding. Henne supported the idea that OHC did not want a roofing contractor assisting with the porches and soffits due to the historic natureof the building.
Martenis moved to divide the work into three projects, seconded by OHC Commissioner Gary Wilson, and it passed unanimously.
Another item of discussion was on reopening Curwood Castle – an item tabled from the previous meeting. Generally, Curwood Castle opens the first of April. OHC discussion on opening the museum revolved around if the building was presentable to the public. The castle has been closed for months due to the pandemic. Commissioner Sue Osika asked if the castle was ready to open. Martenis shared, “It can be,” listing a few displays needing to be finalized and dusting. Martenis offered to help Denice Grace, head docent, to help prep the landmark building. OHC decided to aim for April 1 to reopen Curwood Castle, with Martenis and Henne doing a walk-through later in March.
Some other topics discussed by OHC included low merchandise inventory in Curwood Castle. Denice Grace has been tasked with providing an inventory update. OHC also considered returning to in-person meetings, but commissioners agreed to hold off for a while.