Sunday, 17 June 2007 23:00

Historic Telephone Exchange Emerging

Written by  The Editor
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Downtown Clearwater June 18, 2007  

Historic Telephone Exchange Emerging from a Concrete Cocoon As Cleveland Street undergoes its $8 million makeover, a historic building on the corner of Cleveland and Garden Ave. is fi nally getting the restoration it has been waiting for.

Having spent the last 50 years encased in concrete panels the three-story Telephone Exchange Building is ready to come back to its original look.

Building owner’s Jon and Sylvia Heneghan are overseeing the removal of the panels and removing the bricks from the windows. So far the restoration has uncovered the historic “Telephone” sign on the front of the building. As seen in old black and white photo’s. It is quite possible that no one has seen this building in it’s full color in over 50 years. As Mr. Heneghan has not been able to fi nd any color photo’s of the building as it was before it was encased.

“I wanted to restore the building because I love old brick buildings, and try to right at least one wrong of the past to try to modernize these old buildings says Mr. Heneghan. Mr. Heneghan owns two properties in downtown, and originally came to the Clearwater area to attend services at the Church of Scientology. He moved to the area, and now lives here with his wife Sylvia and their two step children Lena and Moritz.

“Clearwater has a very high potential,” he said., and “My Church has set a great example for the restoration of historic buildings, and this has inspired me to do what I can do to invest in the downtown’s future.”

Mr. Heneghan plans on leasing the ground fl oor of the building for retail. “Our goal is to bring in a national tenant that will allow everyone to come inside and enjoy this building and some of the heritage of Clearwater.”

He would like to see offices on the second fl oor of the building and living space on the third floor, creating a truly mixed-use project. Mr. Heneghan invites the curious and the history-loving to come by and see the building’s renovation. From the outside only for now though. 

“This may be the last great historic restoration in this city and I will be proud to be a part of it for the rest of my life.”

This release was distributed by the Clearwater Downtown Partnership (CDP). Comprised of downtown property owners, developers, concerned citizens and civic groups, the CDP is a not-for-profi t organization whose goal is to promote and foster the economic redevelopment of Downtown Clearwater. Proclaimed a Community Redevelopment Agency District in 1981, Downtown Clearwater is an under-utilized asset to the citizens of Clearwater. The Partnership’s aim is to name, fund and implement projects that will assist the public and private sectors in averting blight and creating a downtown district that becomes a regional destination. The CDP brings stakeholders together to develop, advocate and implement policies that build an exciting, vibrant and diverse downtown and plays an essential role in keeping the business community educated, informed and involved in the continued success of the downtown. For more information is www.clwdp.org

 

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