Historic Cleveland Hall renovations nearing home stretch

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It has been seven months since a Spartanburg couple purchased Cleveland Hall, saving the historic Spartanburg home from the wrecking ball.

7News has followed the controversy over the fate of the building since developers bought it from Converse College in January and announced plans to tear down the structure.

This week, the new owners gave us an exclusive walkthrough to showcase the progress of the restoration.

With all the updates Cleveland Hall has seen over the years, never in its 114 year history has this pillar of the Converse Heights community gone through such an expansive renovation.

Owners Brandon and Renee Klein have scrutinized every detail looking for the perfect blend of preservation and improvement.

Take the trim and crown molding inside, for instance.

“They left a sample up so that when they go to grab it from downstairs we’re going to put it back up and then we’re just going to sand it down and refinish,” said Mrs. Klein.

Outside, the siding has been restored from aluminum to it’s original wood at great expense. The Spartanburg County Historical Society says the Kleins have gone beyond the requirements of a legal easement designed to prevent the home from being torn down.

“They really did go the extra mile by uncovering the original siding so that’s just a win for the preservation side of things,” said Executive Director, Suzanne Brooks.

Sure, there’ have been setbacks.

“As we put this load down we noticed that the wall started sinking. And went down there and the post which is about 14 inches by 14 inches was spagetti, I mean termites eaten all the way through it,” said Mr. Klein.

But the wins are many, like restoring the hardware and chandeliers, and commissioning custom replacements for all 60 windows to match the originals.

They also unearthed the fountain covered by decades of dirt and restored the original widows-walk based on a nearly 100 year old photo.

Some of the more modern changes include a master on the main, a new kitchen and 12 foot tall showers, but even those will incorporate the history, like the original cast iron tubs.

Even the rod iron fence outside mxes old world talent and new world brains. The Kleins have preserved the fence, but have added an automatic closer for the gate and a code that postal workers will have to use before they drop off the mail.

The couple hopes to move in before the New Year.

“A lot of joy, a lot of excitement. Realizing a dream that we’ve been working on for so long,” said Mr. Klein.

“Or like sleeping in the house for the first night, that’s going to be like, oh my God, this is real, cause it still hasn’t set in,” said Mrs. Klein.

The Kleins are financing the renovations themselves, but they say it wouldn’t be possible without the Clayton Construction and the architectual firm McMillan Pazdan Smith which have donated considerable time and resources.

Developer John Montgomery, who originally bought the property, also sold it to the Kleins for no profit after scratching plans to demolish it.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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