BY KRISTI FISH | MIRROR REPORTER — As Maumee residents make their way down River Road, many have noticed a change at the corner of East Wayne Street and River Road.
The former Governor’s Inn building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, received a major paint update, helping the building stand out from the homes in the residential area.
“The colors we had were the same for ages, and it blended with the neighborhood. Maumee is very green. There are so many trees and I love it, but in a residential neighborhood, you could drive past our building and not even see it,” said Kathie Foreman, who owns the building with her husband, Sam.
When it came time for some exterior repairs and updates, Kathie looked for a color she felt would draw attention to the building and complement the historical features.
She decided on Benjamin Moore Teal, also selecting a lighter shade to suit the brick and the black accents.
“It definitely changes in light, too. Sometimes it looks more blue,” Kathie noted.
Change can be hard, but many people have complimented the colors and how the change helps the building stand out, she said.
As the owners of the building, Kathie and Sam want the building to stand out so they can attract visitors.
On the first floor of the building, they lease the space to Levi & Lilac’s for the Whiskey Room and Coffee Pub. The second floor has also been leased to the business for other functions, including small concerts.
The third floor is where Kathie and Sam have run their financial services business for many years.
“It is a destination place. It’s not something you impulsively drive by and decide to stop in. You plan to come here,” Kathie said.
Since they purchased the building in 2008, the couple has updated and maintained the structure so that it can readily accommodate the businesses and customers.
Nearly 50 years ago, the third floor suffered a fire and had to be completely reconstructed. The second floor was remodeled, and a small bar along with a dance floor and updated flooring was added.
Outside, the deck was built, and the historic windows were restored. A new roof was also put on the building and the parking lot has been resurfaced since the Foremans took ownership.
“The biggest expense was an elevator to make this handicapped-accessible,” Kathie said. “Since then, it’s been a lot of maintenance.”
Though the building has continued to require significant money for repairs and restoration, Kathie doesn’t regret the decision.
“We loved the history of the area, and when it went up for sale, I was concerned somebody would buy it and turn it into condos and make it inaccessible for the people of Maumee. I want people to be able to come up and have a look around,” she said.
While there are still some minor repairs that need to be done to the building, it’s always available for visitors to see a piece of history firsthand.
“There’s a lot of colorful history to it. Most of it is probably made up, but it’s still an important place in Maumee,” Kathie said.
It’s why, despite the cost of repairs, Kathie has no regrets with investing in the building, and why she’s been happy to draw attention to the historic spot with a new paint color.
The building, along with the businesses housed inside, is located at 301 River Rd. in Maumee.