A rare photo of Prospect Place before restoration.
The Cox Gravel Company opened the house for tours in 1976 during the American Bicentennial. After the inevitable result of a lack of maintenance over the course of a century had taken its toll on the structure it was closed. A leaking roof had caused some floors to become unsafe and collapse. Also, vandals regularly broke into the house and did terrible damage through the 1980's.
In 1988 the house was scheduled to be demolished as a safety hazard. The roof was ready to collapse as was the cupola and the floors were falling in. Local businessman and relative of the Adams family, Dave Longaberger, became interested in the home. An avid local history buff and preservationist of other local historic buildings he could not bear to see the home torn down. The Longaberger Company purchased the house and started repairs. A new roof was installed and demolition for new construction was started. One humorous story is recounted that when Dave first went into the basement he was startled upon seeing a dummy that somebody had hung by a noose in the wine cellar hallway. We can only trust that if Dave had not become ill he would certainly have finished Prospect Place. Unfortunately his illness stopped the project in its tracks and the home was boarded over awaiting a new savior.
The Longaberger Company kept security on the house until September of 2001 when the home was sold to George Jeffrey Adams. George is the great - great - grandson of George W. Adams and is in the process of restoring the home. In the first year of the project the floors of the house, which were unsafe, were repaired. Masonry repairs were completed, electrical service and water were restored. The windows of the home were repaired, new glass being installed. Mantle reconstruction was started, the original mantles having been vandalized. Two new gas furnaces were installed and a state of the art alarm system was put in place to protect the house in the future. The old house is now equipped with a computer network as well and new locks and safety equipment have also been installed.
In 2003 George and his business partner, Felix Spector, established the non-profit G. W. Adams Education Center in order to teach both youth and adults about the 19 th century, the Underground Railroad and related subjects. Great care is being taken in the restoration to maintain the highest artistic standards represented in the home. The G. W. Adams Educational Center officially took ownership of the house and estate property in 2006. The Center was granted by the Federal government 501C(3) charitable trust status in December 2005.
Download a free copy of our in house history text here:
History of Prospect Place