Cook General Contracting — in partnership with the City of Woodstock and Elm Street Village — has announced the upcoming restoration project for the historical Reeves House built in 1897 by Luther and Carrie Reeves. This home dates to the origination of the City of Woodstock and is the anchor for the Elm Street Cultural Arts Village.
The Reeves home was owned by the Reeves family until 1945, according to the local Tribune Ledger News, and was the site of gardens, a barn, privy, corn crib, wood shed, hog pen and hen house before it was vacated. Now under the ownership of the City and leased to Elm Street —the city wants to return this property to its historical importance but utilize for modern day purposes.
Recently finished work by the City of Woodstock to complete a green space and outdoor stage near the historic site has made this area a priority for the city. The need to reduce the liability of the structure and restore it from recent vandalism activity has brought this project to the forefront of the city council. It has also enveloped the heartstrings of the citizens of Woodstock who want to see improvement in the quality of their community in this cultural area.
Cook will be focused on improving the quality of the facility throughout the Reeves home. Renovations are to include an art gallery, Juanita Hughes historic room containing local history and studio spaces that artists can rent out. Also, a new additional structure will be built adjacent to the historic home that will contain instructional space and a computer lab. Culinary gardens and other outdoor space will also be added.
Specific plans for this project include gutting the original structure and preserving the original framing and shiplap walls to reclaim the wood. Each reclaimed piece will be refinished and returned to the original home structure to bring the house back to life. An additional 600 sq. ft. wooden structure with open glass windows will create a 24-hour artist studio that inspires its visitors with an indoor/outdoor feel. An additional 3,000 sq. ft. secondary structure is in conversation and could potentially add to this property in the near future.
“Cook loves the opportunity to participate in projects that revitalize local communities and allow them to showcase their passions. Being a part of this municipal project allows us to pour into the larger Woodstock community and restore the legacy that the Reeves created so many years ago” stated company COO Greg Swinks.
Work on the project is set to begin in Fall of 2017 with a ground-breaking ceremony taking place during August of the same year.
For more information on the history of the Reeves Home, visit Elm Street Arts.