Old Hartford Home Gets Makeover After Years of Debate

Habitat for Humanity bought the Queen House for a fraction of the cost, and it's getting gutted and being turned into a veteran's home with five bedrooms.

NBC Connecticut

An old brick home in Hartford is getting a makeover thanks to Habitat for Humanity, a local church and the residents of the Frog Hollow neighborhood.

Senior Pastor Paula Mehmel is thrilled to help Habitat for Humanity North Central CT rehabilitate the old 1890 Queen House on Capitol Avenue.

It sits adjacent to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, who bought the property for $120,000 in 2012. The church’s goal was to turn it into a veterans home years ago, but the cost was astronomical.

“I spent Friday into Saturday in the basement peeling paint and plaster off the basement walls," Mehmel said.

“It was determined that it was just not cost effective to do a rehab,” she continued.

After agreeing to sell the home to Habitat for Humanity for a fraction of the cost, the house is getting gutted and being turned into a veteran's home with five bedrooms, all new electric and paint.

For a long time, the building sat empty with the exception of a few squatters.

“I think this project gives a lot of hope to that neighborhood that we can restore and renovate new historic properties like these and still serve a modern family," Kristopher Mckelvie, director of construction for Habitat for Humanity said.

Over the years, there were several contentious conversations between the church and the Frog Hollow Neighborhood revitalization zone about tearing down the Queen House and what to do with it.

“One of the really neat things about it is that the people who have been an opposition to us really stood by what they said as far as being friends of the church in front of the neighborhood," Mehmel said.

NBC Connecticut

With all on board, the home for a special veteran is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Habitat for Humanity is still looking for an active military or veteran family for the home. To learn more, click here.

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