LAKEVIEW — When you move a house the size of the old Kazmer place, you don’t rush the job.
The historic home, which stood for decades at 432 S. Lincoln Ave., rolled Wednesday toward its new location at 220 E. 4th St., across from the Lakeview Wellness Center.
In addition to the new address, the 120-year-old venerable landmark will be getting a full makeover, courtesy of Edmore resident Laura Gavril and her fiancé Lane Leppink. Within a few months, the couple hopes to reopen the residence as an upscale bed and breakfast.
Leppink has deep roots in the community, having been born and raised in Lakeview. Gavril is a Texas transplant, but says she has fallen in love with the area since moving here several years ago. According to Leppink, this may be the perfect time to open a business of this kind in the small town.
“You look at all the recent development here in the area, like the senior housing, and it just makes sense,” Leppink said. “You’ll have families coming to town to visit; this would give them a nice place to stay if they’re coming in from out of town.”
Leppink added the bed and breakfast idea is still just that — an idea. Though the couple are leaning in that direction, they have yet to firm up plans for a B&B. Another option — and one Leppink said would likely earn more money in the short run — would be to simply fix up and resell the house.
“We don’t know yet for sure exactly what we’re going to do,” Leppink said. “That place would make an awesome single family home, but the bed and breakfast is what Laura wants to do. Either way, if we were doing this to get rich, we wouldn’t be doing it, but this is an opportunity.”
Leppink and Gavril had earlier removed the home’s expansive front porch and intend to rebuild it this spring. In homage to the home’s longtime owners, the Kazmer family, Gavril said she plans to hang historic photos of the home in the foyer.
If all goes according to plan, the home will be ready for a “soft” open house in time for this year’s Summerfest in Lakeview, though the actual bed and breakfast business might not be operational for some time after that.
The move Wednesday afternoon, which ran only a couple hours behind schedule — not bad, considering temperatures that hovered around 10 degrees — involved the work of power crews, Lakeview’s Department of Public Works and of course the house movers themselves.
Crews were prepping the house for its move three weeks before the actual move day. Several girder-like crossbeams were placed beneath the home to support the massive structure during the move.
Lakeview Village Manager James Freed said he was happy to see the landmark property remain in the village, rather than being torn down.
“The village has been working hard with the Zoning Board of Appeals, Kelsey Hospital, the developer and community members to ensure we are able to save this historic home for our community,” Freed said. “This house has been a cherished landmark in our downtown, and that is why we have worked so hard to preserve it.”
According to Gavril, the home has long been one she’s appreciated and she’s looking forward to the chance to return it to its former glory.
“I have always loved old houses” Gavril said. “We are excited to restore this home the right way and remodel it to bring it back to what it originally was.”