Inside Sanford House at John Street for Men – Before and After Pics

addiction treatment center


MLive’s business reporter James Harger and photographer Cory Morse were two of our first visitors to 221 John Street in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jim called the house, “hidden in plain sight”, because the former Hazeltine mansion sits far back on a hilly lot. You can miss it if you are not looking carefully.  It is one of the reasons Rae and David Green chose John Street for the site of their newest addiction treatment center. Privacy and homelike comfort are cornerstones of the Sanford House philosophy.


The calm after the restoration storm… photos by Terry Johnston


When your guests look up…

James Harger and Cory Morse don’t miss a trick, however. They are the kind of guests who look up at corbels and crouch down to get a better look at baseboards. There are discussions about tongue-in-grove paneling and Tiffani era leaded glass. There are delicate questions boldly asked (the questions enquiring minds want to know) like, “How much did the renovation cost?”


And more than that, as a business reporter, Jim understands that real estate like John Street is a venue. The area or space occupied by or intended for something. And following the success of Sanford House at Cherry Street for Women, another restored historic mansion, the John Street location stands ready to help men suffering from the disease of addiction.


It’s in the details – restored leaded glass at the front door.


A year-long restoration…

So, when Sanford House at John Street was finished, we called Mr. Harger. After all, project manager Alec Green had shown him the house at the very beginning of the year long restoration. And he had traipsed through drywall dust and under ceilings, literally bursting with leaky pipes.


What a difference a year makes.


Here is James Harger’s fine article for MLive (with 105 photos of the before and after by Cory Morse):

After $1M-plus makeover, 126-year-old mansion will become addiction treatment center





after marilyn head shot bio

Marilyn Spiller is a writer, sober coach, recovery advocate, and student of the world (she also holds a BA in English). Nine years sober herself, she penned one of the first sobriety blogs, "Waking Up the Ghost" in 2013. The blog garnered an international following, allowing Marilyn to communicate with thousands of folks in all stages of recovery. Marilyn is Sanford's Director of Marketing and serves as Editor-In-Chief for the Sanford online magazine, Excursions. She also developed and hosts the podcast Anatomy of Addiction and is Vice President of the Board, JACK Mental Health Advocacy.