“The old house had a thousand doors in it.
All old houses do. You can see them if you know how to look: the noontime shadow of a windowpane crawling with intent across a floor; unmeasured angles of wall meeting wall; fireplaces grown chill with unused years. Archways with unseen contours you can trace with a finger in the cracks as brick grinds against brick in settling walls. Some nights and some houses are doorways entire, silhouettes against the evening’s last light black on black like an opening into a darker sky. You just have to look. An eye-corner glance will do if you don’t turn and stare and explain it away.”
Michael Montoure, Slices
I’m still smiling. First of all, I have never ridden in an electric car which felt like riding on a quiet cloud, and second, I was headed to Machaven. Jesse Gerstl was driving. He is an investor helping save Main Street and adjacent areas. Besides the Superman cloak I’ve glimpsed before, I think of him as one of our angels unaware that we now entertain. Jesse and his investment group are the new owners of this historical jewel in Villa Place’s crown. We were off to see the progress that in a few weeks Jesse’s small group of workman have made happen. I managed to stay out of the fresh paint except for a spot on my hand that I was proud to acquire.
The goal is to have Machaven ready this spring. The property is in splendid condition. I hoped to sense some of the family and past caretakers of this gracious home but was too distracted by views out the large double-hung windows, looking at the fireplaces and chandeliers, the stunning staircase, the spacious rooms. There are plastic drop cloths, ladders, and paint cans everywhere, but nonetheless, the resting heart rate of the house is once again elevated. I was smiling with the privilege of being there, Jesse is excited and smiling with this ambitious and important project, and Machaven, well, thrilled to be useful again and ready to begin the next chapter of life.
While waiting for the on-going work to finish, there are many interesting things about Machaven and the people associated with this historical property to honor. My intention is to write MORE.
If you need to book something wonderful after Machaven opens, Jesse is your man! 347-255-7257
Great news, isn’t it!?
6 thoughts on “They Call Me – Machaven – Great News – I’m Back!”
My Daughter got married there in 1996. The wedding was outside, reception inside. It was beautiful. A lot of her pictures were made inside the house and on the staircase.
Nice that MacHaven will again be an option for functions such as wedding receptions. My sister’s was there almost 30 years ago. Beautiful home and close to downtown churches.
There was a framed history of MacHaven sitting on the table in the parlor on the left as you went in the front door. The home, built by Mr. Hines, the “ice man”, was out in the country when it was built in early nineteen hundreds.
As I recall, the wallpaper in the dining room was imported from England. I wonder if it survived the fire set by vandals as few years ago.
The people with knowledge of the home are Erwin Robbins Wilde who grew up there. Her Mother was Marian Robbins, a friend of my sister, Fay.
The Robbins backdoor neighbor was Margaret Jean Early (Walter, deceased). She and Erwin were friends. Mrs. Early’s home faces Nash Street. She may be living there still.
Perhaps, the current owner would like to interview them.
Love having any information like this. Thank you, Polly. I think of some of the stories you have told me about growing up in Villa Place and how Machaven was a part of that experience. It’s wonderful news.
I remember when Machaven housed the City Club, and I have many happy memories there. Perhaps if I can get myself together and get published, the ghost of the City Club (and thus Machaven) will appear in a novel of mine.
I’m going to write about the City Club. Get that writing done with a nod to Machaven. This beautiful residence, with evolving lives, deserves it. THanks Carole