THE CLARENDON Hotel is undergoing a $4 million restoration project. While that may seem somewhat extravagant, it is a fair price to pay to resuscitate a grand piece of St. Clairsville history.
The Clarendon, at its best, was a St. C. landmark, positioned ideally in the heart of the city's business district. At its worst, it was a crime-infested eyesore.
Thanks to a coalition of unbridled support and teamwork, the Clarendon is on the fast track to regaining its once proud splendor.
Steve Coons is one of the Clarendon owners and the face of the project. He touts the site's untapped potential. Coons envisions a refurbished Clarendon that features 18 units for extended-stay customers as well as a restaurant.
Coons and his partners are also making such a worthwhile facelift done in timely fashion, calling for completion by year's end. What an ideal Christmas present for the city.
The project could not have come to reality if not for the solid groundwork laid by St. Clairsville officials.
The city acquired ownership of the Clarendon a few years back. It poured some $1 million into making it structurally sound. Grant funding has also played big into making the restoration possible.
Clarendon's roots trace back to the 1890s. It has served many roles, including a bank.
Mayor Bob Vincenzo, a St. C. fixture in his own right, noted that the Clarendon will be more beneficial to the area restored than it would have been if torn down and the space used as a parking lot.
"We're going to keep our building. It's history personified," he said.
He is correct.
While bringing The Clarendon back to productive life may be a costly undertaking, we believe you cannot put a price tag on a community's pride, tradition and self-esteem.