Clarington, Ohio couple buy church for just $ 1 and make it their dream home
CLARINGTON, Ohio.- (WTRF) With the church bell still intact, Alex Abbott pulls on this shiny red cord.
The sound echoes in her community of Clarington, Ohio.
This music teacher does not ring inside a church but at the entrance of her own house.
Alex Abbott says “I didn’t doubt him for a second although I was a little skeptical about it just because it will be a lot of work and patience and it’s nothing I’ve ever done before, but he experienced it and I trusted him So I’m like show me what to do and we went from there.
Alex refers to her husband, Taylor, Monroe County Treasurer and history buff.
According to her husband, Taylor Abbott, “We have never had what you would call a typical marriage. Right from the start, we buy a church, I run for office, I buy a church. We are renovating it. We just got married, so we put our marriage to the test from the start.
Alex says, “I knew that from the start. He called me up and said I was thinking of buying a church and we talked about it a bit and he hung up and I told my mom he was going to make it a home.
Taylor is the pioneer behind the couple’s home-converted church renovation project.
In June 2016, the duo made a big deal as an engaged couple.
Taylor, wondering what the church would cost, spoke with one of the exchange elders.
Done in about five minutes from start to finish, says Taylor.
Taylor adds, “We talked about the numbers and I said whatever you want for that and they said we would give it to you. I said we need to exchange money, so how about a $ 1 and so I ended up buying it for $ 1 at that time. ”
With an open floor plan and a goal, they took the plunge.
The couple say they let architecture dictate the style of this 115-year-old structure.
“We changed the entry to make it wider. We added double doors and took what would have been the ladies’ entrance and turned it into a guest bathroom, ”says Taylor.
Beyond Germany’s exquisite chandeliers, Taylor mentions the ceiling was the focal point point of the renovation, keeping the pewter paneling was a must.
It took dry ice to remove the peeling paint, a total reduction of lead, and a new coat of special paint that will last another 80 years.
He also says, “You can look at this same ceiling and know the original and the parishioners who are building this church. They looked at that same ceiling and they got up and looked through those same windows. ”
It would take a total of three years to renovate the house and then fill the house with a few of these favorite things.
A hutch full of books is Taylor’s favorite piece of furniture he bought at an auction. and this little desk is another Federal furniture find.
Taylor continues, “In the end it worked because we liked the style of the Federal era, the classic style, the art on our walls and the decor we use reflect that period and I also have a lot. items from Clarington that were historic to the town, different maps, different photographs, old family memorabilia or photographs, boat models, things from that time that not only reflect my family history but also the history of the city and the maritime art that we have here reflects more of a passion that she and I have for ocean liners and that old world story.
The passion Taylor talks about is on their walls.
Maritime essentials everywhere.
An old newspaper clipping from the sinking of the Titantic to model ships to paintings of boats.
The Taylor family side has worked in the boating industry since 1860.
And as for Alex, she has always had an interest in boats and the next aquatic adventure.
The biggest adventure yet, on the water, is expected to be on their wedding day when the two got married on an actual ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2.
Now let’s move on from their nautical nuptials to what could be Taylor’s most precious treasure.
His great-great-grandfather’s wedding ring, which he now wears around his finger as a married man.
The pair featuring items such as goblets, porcelain and this ornamental wrought iron piece have passed through the years.
Taylor also says, “We use every piece of furniture in this place. Nothing is a centerpiece. It’s an antique, but it got here because it was used.
Taylor and Alex enjoyed documenting the entire renovation process on social media sites, like Instagram, and that’s when an HGTV producer saw the post and reminded them in January.
They were delighted to hear that news producers were interested in showcasing their home on HGTV and Discovery TV’s new Cheap Old Houses with Ethan and Elizabeth Finkelstein.
He also says: “We interviewed three producers, took them on tour using their phones to show them what we did. I showed them some of the architectural elements from there, he sent them photographs. They wanted to see before and after and what we wanted to do and about three weeks later we got the call that we were on the show.
The episode featuring the Abbots aired on Labor Day.
“It was an honor to be a part of this show, especially because it was the first season and their goal was to restore old houses and put them back to their former glory, you want to keep that,” he says.
According to Taylor, it was important not to preserve the history of the church but also to honor the former parishioners.
He says: “I was very aware from the start that what we have done here has been done in a very respectful and respectful manner.”
Taylor says the couple are conservationists and that’s really the perfect word to describe this couple.
Preservation by definition is the act of protecting, maintaining or maintaining something in existence.
“The church is 115 years old. For us, we want this to last another 115 years. I hope the story will be, we will be, that we saved this piece of history for the next generation because we are just the keepers of this building, this room and you don’t own anything in life, it’s just passed on to someone else, so we’re just gatekeepers at this point, ”Taylor says.
Taylor and Alex took the church which is still deeply rooted to this day in the community of Clarington and saved it from demolition.
Some say make the church your home and this husband and wife in God’s sight have honored their city and made the church their home, literally, and will be Happily Ever Abbott.