Historic downtown building will soon host AirBNB

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October 18, 2019 - Construction workers install new windows at what will soon be an AirBNB located in the second level of 163 Court Square in Huntingdon.

A historic building in downtown Huntingdon will soon host Loft 163, an AirBNB that will be available for guests on a nightly basis.

Jackie and Dixie Atkinson, owners of neighboring Court Theatre, purchased the building at 163 Court Square in April of 2018 from Dennis and Lisa Richardson. The main level holds the office for World Finance. Upstairs, the couple has been working hard to renovate and restore the space into a cozy one-bedroom apartment.

The AirBNB boasts one bedroom, 1.5 baths, a kitchen, and living room area which overlooks downtown Huntingdon. Original floor-to-ceiling bookshelves line the walls closest to the front windows. 

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 The Atkinsons have retained many original elements of the structure, including doors, shelves, and flooring. 

The AirBNB will be in high demand for tourists on weekends surrounding The Dixie’s many attractions, as well as for locals who just want a change of scenery for a day or so. 

Dixie estimates that renovations will be completed within the next month. 

What is an AirBNB? 

AirBNB is an organization that connects people with available space to people looking for a place to stay. The contemporary format allows people with extra space available to offer it to guests without hiring staff or owning a hotel. It allows travelers the opportunity to have a truly one-of-a-kind experience when they’re on the go, and often at a more affordable rate than traditional lodging arrangements. Secure transactions take place on the organization’s online platform, and hosts, as well as guests, are held accountable by surveys taken by both parties. 

 History of the building

Dennis and Lisa Richardson bought the building at 163 Court Square from the Bank of Huntingdon in 1983 and remodeled it into a newspaper office. 

The basement of the building once housed The Cave pool room, where patrons entered from the “back alley,” which was quite lively. J. Sam Johnson practiced law in the building in the early 1900s.

The Carroll County News-Leader Print Shop was downstairs in the ‘80s and ‘90s. That is where the newspaper staff labeled the newspapers and put into mail bags for distribution. They regularly had customers standing in the alley at 2 a.m. when the papers returned from the printing plant, waiting to buy their copy of the paper. 

The upper level of the building was once J. Sam Johnson’s law office and Shack’s Barber Shop. 

In the early 2000s, the Carroll County News-Leader moved next-door into its current location. The two buildings share a staircase to the upper level. The area above the corner building once housed former governor Gordon Browning’s law office, among other things. 

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