If houses could smile, the large house on the south side of Park Avenue West, just east of the site of the recently-demolished YMCA, would be grinning widely this winter.
The Silas M. Douglas House, now nicknamed “Mansfield Tomorrow House” on Instagram, is a center of more activity over the last few weeks than in the last twenty years put together.
The intrepid duo behind the daily transformation of this Victorian landmark house is Kami Goodrow and Sadie Stoots. As they recently shared on Instagram, “We only have one goal, to keep the house standing, at least until tomorrow.” The Instagram site can be visited here.
The pair acquired the property from the Richland County Land Bank with the aid of local realtor Christina Mawhorr.
Work has begun in earnest to bring the large property back to life, and Stoots and Goodrow have chosen to invite social media viewers along for the ride. On one day, video of trashed appliances from six former apartments and 12 mattresses can be seen falling from a second story window. In another Instagram post, water can be see running from holes in the roof.
Not all work is about challenges, however. The pair recently found copies of vintage Mansfield newspapers hidden behind plaster walls.
The Douglas House was built during the latter part of the 19th century by a man affectionately known in the community as “Judge Douglas.” Its myriad towers, porches, and and decorative elements on the exterior place it in the Queen Anne Style of architecture, an exuberant era reflecting “The Gilded Age.” Its location on Mansfield premier street of grand homes was by design.
A Landmark of Mansfield feature on the house can be read here.
From the images posted by the pair, it is clear that very hard work is combined with enjoyment of the experience. The Mansfield Tomorrow House Instagram page can be accessed here. Be sure to scroll through the images and video and then to “Follow” their page. The project also has a Facebook page (see below).
A big 1812 “THANK YOU” to Kami and Sadie for your vision and sense of commitment. Let’s hope that others take the pair’s lead and tackle other landmark Mansfield properties in need of attention.