By Layne Alfred
The Mason Times
Stepping inside the new home of Oracle Financial Solutions in Mason, Michigan for the first time, you would never guess that the building was built during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. The smell of fresh cedar lingers in the air, voices echo off the walls and everything looks brand new.
Oracle Financial Solutions, which was previously located just a block away above Bestseller’s Bookstore, has renovated an ancient building that was formerly “one big eyesore,” as described by Kurt Creamer, a member of the founding team. It was an abandoned building; the roofs were collapsed, the building was filled with mold, and there was seemingly no hope of revitalization.
Creamer, Charles Moore, Ryan Parrot, and Scott Russ, who founded Oracle Financial Solutions together, decided to take on the challenge. The building has now been rehabilitated into a business and residential facility for the firm, but it wasn’t easy. It was important for the team to move, not only because it would be better for their business, but also so that they could keep the old buildings in Mason alive.
“The building was in extremely bad condition, so it was special to our team to be involved in a project that improved the downtown Mason area,” said Parrot.
It was the team’s priority to keep many original features of the building during the revitalization. Although the roofs, deck, floor and everything in between is brand new, many features from the late 1800’s have been conserved. The building contains an authentic fireplace and even original doors, complete with speakeasy grates. The renovation took 13 months, and finally opened on September 29, 2015. The restoration was made by some highly technical staff who are outstanding wall fireplace pros, they took on this side project as a way to meet new people.
Many federal and local grants were required to save the building and put it to use. “A lot of this stuff is being torn down, and we need to keep it up to codes. Grants allow it to be financially feasible to keep these buildings standing,” said Russ, “We joined hands and said, ‘let’s make this work’.”
Not only has the team of four saved a building with character and history, they have expanded the horizons of their business.
“We’re now looking to bring in more people in hopes of growing,” said Creamer, “but this is it for us.”