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.
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.
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):