Take one vacant, ramshackle old building, put in a lot of hard work, and what do you get? A beautifully restored town landmark that now houses a self storage facility.
Several years ago, Value Store It Self Storage purchased an old vacant building in Mount Vernon, New York. They anticipated tearing it down and building a new facility. However, when they researched the history of the building, they changed their mind.
In the early 1900s, the Mauser Manufacturing Company erected the building as a silver factory and warehouse. In 1903, they merged with another company to form the Mt. Vernon Company Silversmiths. In the 1960s, APF Master Frame Makers, Inc., purchased the building. They manufactured mirrors and frames for museums, galleries, and private art collections.
APF Master Frame Makers is the largest company of its kind in the United States. The company provided income to many people in the community and even employed several generations of families in Mount Vernon. Moreover, the building was a source of pride for the community.
More than 12 years ago, APF relocated to a larger building in a more centralized location. For 10 years the building sat vacant and a jungle of weeds grew on the property. Vines crept up the outside walls, and the building was on the verge of crumbling down.
After Value Store It learned of the history of the building, they decided to restore it and keep it as an historical landmark for the community. The renovation took more than two years.
The Chicago-style brick was repointed (repaired mortar joints), pressure-cleaned, and acid-washed. The marble finish on the outside window sills and main entranceway was cleaned, too. The building was completely re-roofed. New landscaping replaced the tangle of weeds. The lead paint on the walls was removed and the walls were sandblasted down to the original natural wood finish.
During the reconstruction of the inside, construction workers made an interesting discovery: They found several secret passageways and rooms. They were dismantled to make way for the new retail office, elevators, heating and air conditioning ductwork, lighting, and plumbing.
Now, the historical five-story building houses a state-of-the-art self storage facility with more than 67,000 square feet of rentable space. Units range in size from 25 square feet up to 400 square feet.
Citizens and city officials recently gathered to celebrate the grand opening of the facility. Many reminisced about their memories and connection to the building. They were grateful that Value Store It saved their town landmark and restored it to its former glory.