The effort to save an historic Montgomery house at 1802 Madison Avenue is nearing its completion. The old, rundown house was in danger of demolition by the city until some neighbors stepped in and a builder purchased it.
The house sits on Madison Avenue in Capitol Heights near the intersection with Madison Terrace. Once covered from view by overgrown trees, today, it's restoration to a stately residence is nearly complete.
Long hours, 6 days a week, for nearly 7 months, that's how much time it took to transform the structure. Owner Robbie Pelt recalls all the things that had to be done. "New roof, new plumbing, endless water heater, all the heart pine floors have been refinished..."
That just scratches the surface of the work Pelt, a builder, has done to restore the home he ended up buying.
"It had just been neglected," explained Cindy Keeping. "It was just a house that you couldn't see, it was rotten looking, it was dreadful..."
Disrepair put the historic house in danger of being torn down until Keeping and group of neighbors rallied to save it. Then, Pelt stepped up in July to buy it.
"The hope was there that he was gonna bring it to what we would have done it, and he's done that," Keeping admitted.
"Every day, I get 5 or 6 people that come by and say they love it," Pelt says of the renovation project.
"To see her glory again, and what it does for this neighborhood and the way people that aren't even affiliated with Capital Heights, they see this house, and it's kind of given it a shot in the arm," Keeping adds.
Pelt hopes the renovation will start a movement to revitalize the entire area. "I think everybody should start, follow suit, should just move on down the road," he says.
"Don't get rid of it, you fix it up..." Keeping added.
For the house at 1802 Madison Ave., Keeping believes the best is yet to come. She wants to see a good family move in that will love the house. Cindy keeping: I'm hoping that we bring in a good family that will love the house. "That's the goal," she says.
The goal may be a reality soon. The house is already up for sale and an open house is set for next weekend.
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