One of the most interesting buildings in Decatur – the stone “Beautiful” building behind the Marlay – is up for lease! The owner, gave this history of the property in a comment a couple years back…
The land that the Grange and the other 2 buildings ( Stone house, and warehouse behind BEAUTIFUL gate ) sit on was developed by an elderly stone mason in the 1940′s. The house and warehouse were built first. This was his house and studio/warehouse. He built the granite building where the Grange is located later hoping to rent it out. His first tenant was a Hudson car dealership. A Studebaker dealership was across the street, and Oldsmobile dealership was where the CVS is now.
All 3 buildings used to be connected, but a fire in the early 80′s partially destroyed the roof over the nexus of the buildings – creating the interesting space behind the gate. In the late 90′s I commissioned local artist Robert Witherspoon to make a gate to secure the courtyard area for my sculpture studio. The “Beautiful” comes from a fabled gate in Jerusalem; the Gate Called Beautiful.
The building where the Grange is underwent extensive renovation in 2001. The renovation of the rest of the property has been hampered by the Federal Government declaring the property within the 100 year flood plain since that renovation. I am in the process of clearing hurdles to renovate the rest of the property to honor the historic structure, and I may need the support of the Decatur Metro community in the future.
All that said, what would you like to see open up in this unique structure?