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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Frank Undergoes Face-lift
DeAnn Reed
Antelope Staff
Photo by DeAnn Reed
The Frank House waits for a few nips and tucks.

Nope, it’s not what you think. This Frank is not a person getting plastic surgery. This Frank is a house, and for the last 39 years, the building has undergone some needed renovations. The current project is the first floor bedroom’s dressing chamber. While plastic surgery patients may receive skin resurfacing or a tummy tuck, this dressing room will have new carpet, a fresh coat of paint, woodwork redone and ceilings repaired.

But before the dressing area, which is the size of an average modern day bedroom, could undergo the renovation, several toxic elements needed to be removed. According to Frank House director KrisAnn Sullivan, the two biggest problems were lead paint and asbestos. An outside agency was hired to remove the toxic elements at a cost of $20,000.

Sullivan said removing the toxic elements was a crucial step in the renovation and that the total cost of the renovation could be into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The majority of the work will be done by the facilities department on campus, and this should help save on the total cost.

The rest of the house does need attention, but the focus will be on the main floor. Sullivan said she would like the renovations to be done by Christmas time but thinks it will probably be next May before the small area is completed.

Some of the first renovations were done in the 70's when the house served as an apartment complex. The home’s chimneys, tile roof and back porch have all been redone.

Groups like the Friends of the Frank House have helped the university with fixing up the interior of the home. Sullivan said this group has invested their time and money to help recreate the way the home used to look.

“The last project was the kitchen area,” Sullivan said. Restoration efforts are all aimed to return the house to its original glory. However, while the house’s 1880s look may be old-fashioned, some of its amenities are very modern. The kitchen has a refrigerator where the icebox used to be and a cabinet door covers the dishwasher. The director said these modern conveniences come in handy when the house is used to celebrate weddings, anniversaries and receptions. She said she hopes more in the community will access the home.

One of the Friends of the Frank House, Rhonda Berger said, “The workmanship of the house is so gorgeous. It’s great they are restoring it back.” Berger, who is the lead volunteer gardener, said it’s a lot of work, but she loves helping. It’s people like Berger who are helping to fulfill what Sullivan sees is the mission of the house.

“Our mission…is to care for the house and share it, not with our generations, but with future generations too,” Sullivan said. And to do that, they are always looking for volunteers to work the gardens and help on the inside of the house. She said those interested should contact the Frank House or the Friends of the Frank House.

Video by DeAnn Reed

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