The 1906 home of the once President of Algoma Steel, Mr. Charles Franz, had been undergoing change since it left the ownership of the Steel Corporation in the 1930’s. It had passed through many hands, including its conversion into a doctor’s office for well over forty years. This $650,000 project was to restore the 4500 sf residence into the grand home it had once been.

Mr. Ellis’s began work by scouring the files of the Steel Company and obtained the original blueprints. From these it was determined that many structural changes had taken place over the years, including the removal of the ‘servant’s stair’ and the kitchen and ‘butler’s pantry’ and the complete abandonment of the third floor which lay in ruin. From original documents, the ground floor wainscoting was reproduced, crown mouldings replicated, etc.

To integrate a new forced air HVAC system, a coffered ceiling was added in the main entry hall to cover new ductwork. The space left over from the removal of the servant’s stair became a new ground floor powder room and the plan adjusted to accommodate a master bedroom ensuite bath. A pop-out at the rear of the building was constructed to enlarge the existing bathroom to accomplish this and enabled a sixth bedroom to be constructed above on the third floor. The existing floors had been ruined in the past, so walnut salvaged by divers pulling logs from the bottom of the Ottawa River from the log runs of the 1800’s were used for all floors. Matching doors and hardware salvaged from demolished buildings of the era were also used to replace those missing.