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Phelps couple goes to work saving the historic Phelps Hotel

A Phelps couple wants to restore the historic Phelps Hotel to its previous glory.

Greg Mayo told the Finger Lakes Times he was working on renovations to the nearby DeBaere Block and could see damage to the roof the hotel. So he and his partner, Phelps native Christy Howard bought the hotel. Howard once worked as a waitress at the hotel restaurant to pay her way through nursing school. She now works at Clifton Springs Hospital. The restaurant closed in 2019, yet its tables are fully set.

They paid $310,000 for the hotel, but estimate it will cost $600-800,000 to renovate it. The leaking roof has been repaired. Now, Mayo says he’ll survey the damage to the three floors and come up with a plan. Mayo and Howard hope to receive grants to help with repair costs. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was named one of Five to Revive for 2021 by the Landmark Society of Western New York.

Related: ‘FIVE TO REVIVE’: Phelps Hotel, Alas Farms in Sodus targeted by Landmark Society for preservation, future development

The hotel was built in 1867 by Lehman Hotchkiss, owner of the H.G. Hotchkiss Essential Oil Company in Lyons. The plan is to repair the lower floor, which houses the restaurant first, then restore lodging to the second and third floors.