Old West Michigan home restored in renovation


Hart — Artists put the finishing touches on Hart House Bed and Breakfast on Tuesday when they installed beveled, faceted glass windows.

The brick-and-stone home was a gift from George Bates to his wife Estelle Moore Bates in 1904. It features a blend of Tudor and Craftsman architectural elements.

Mlive.com reports that Allan and Patrice Martin took ownership of the Bates home during early 2016 with the goal of restoring it “to a condition befitting of its iconic status in the city of Hart,” according to a release.

The bed and breakfast, at 303 S. Courtland St. in Hart, will open on Oct. 17 following completion of renovations, which includes reinserting some historic charm.

“One of the owners removed all the architecturally significant features that they could without the house collapsing,” Patrice Martin said.

The beveled windows were one of the most difficult pieces to replace.

“I was ready to give up on having the windows returned to their original glory,” Patrice Martin said in the release.

Only a handful of artists in the U.S. make beveled windows, but eventually the Martins discovered Omnibus Studios in New Era.

Omnibus was founded in 1973 by Richard Hanley. The company specializes in glass work, including stained glass, faceted glass, fused glass, glass painting and etched glass. Omnibus spent two years on restoration and duplication of historic light fixtures for Detroit’s Fox Theater.

“Once we found Richard, and saw his work we instantly knew we wanted him to recreate the glass for our historic home,” Patrice Martin said.

Artists carefully handcrafted each window, and then installed them Tuesday.

“When we met with the Martins, I knew this project held historic significance to the Hart community,” Hanley said. “My team and I are honored to be a part of the restoration of the 112-year-old Bates home.”

The $250,000 renovation of Hart House also included a modern kitchen, six bathrooms, a new roof and siding, and more historic elements.

“We redid just about everything,” Allan Martin said.

One unique piece that harkens to the home’s beginnings is a newel post lamp of a woman with an outstretched arm that Patrice Martin spent days searching for on eBay. The original figure lamp featured a woman with an outstretched arm holding the light globe - the replacement doesn’t hold a globe.

“The home has had so many owners, and there’s so little information about what’s original,” she said. “We were able to talk to some former owners and pieced things together as much as we could while also creating a whole new space.”

Hart House includes six unique guest rooms and suites with private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, a library, made-to-order breakfast at private or communal tables, games, beach and picnic gear, bicycles and private parking. It’s also walking distance from downtown Hart.

This is the Martins’ first foray into the hospitality industry. They’ve spent three years preparing, and Patrice started collecting recipes about a year ago.

Allan Martin has spent the past 15 years in affordable housing development. Patrice Martin has worked in community, economic and workforce development. They now both work as consultants, and plan to continue that work out of an office in the Hart House.

“We already have bookings,” Patrice Martin said. “We’re quite excited, and terrified.”