The Renovation

Our renovation project started soon after we signed the lease. The property had been abandoned for several years, had been home to vagrants, and had accumulated rooms full of discarded items and trash. The flooring in the main house was gone in several spots; the ceiling was falling down; weeds were growing through the brick and windows were broken. Our first goal was to get the slaves’ quarters renovated as usable space for housing to provide some income and the security of having people on the property. Next stabilization of the main house and center room was our focus.

The first floor of the slaves’ quarters, now called the “Dependency”, is rented to an Anna’s Place staff member. The second floor was initially used to house volunteer groups that would assist us in work at the Dodwell House or with our programs. It is now rented to another Anna’s Place staff member. The main house and center room have been stabilized and have sub-flooring, and safety and security have been addressed.

To date, the following work has been done:

  • Installed new plumbing infrastructure for slaves’ quarters
  • Reframed slaves’ quarters for housing
  • Sealed the walls to decrease mold and dampness
  • New paint interior and exterior
  • Installed new appliances for apartment
  • Installed a fire-escape for the 2nd floor of slaves’ quarters
  • Reinforced the foundation of the main house
  • Replaced damaged floor joists on first and second floor of the main house and center room
  • Installed new sub-flooring on first floor and center room
  • Braced Esplanade-side wall which was in jeopardy of falling
  • Installed a 4-foot thick beam to stabilize the second floor of main house
  • New roof on main house and center room
  • Built and installed new shutters for main house and slaves’ quarters in the historic style required
  • Installed fence around the entire property with an iron gate
  • Installed a lighting and alarm system for security
  • Installed handicap-accessible ramp to main house
  • Brick-work to stabilize chimneys