Glen Rock Mill Inn Receives Grant for Historic Preservation Work
The Glen Rock Mill Inn is accelerating its plans to restore its property to its historic roots with the help of a $40,000 grant.
“It was quite a surprise (to win the grant)… knowing that it would only go to 25 restaurants nationwide,” said Brandon C. Hufnagel, owner and executive chef.
The $1 million “Backing Historic Small Restaurants” grant, split among the 25 — including four from Pennsylvania — was funded by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The other three restaurants in the state are Khalil’s Middle Eastern Restaurant in Pittsburgh, Penn Brewery in Pittsburgh and The Inn of Harmonyin harmony.
The $40,000 awarded to the Glen Rock Mill Inn will restore a 1980s facade at the back of the restaurant along Heritage Rail Trail County Park to a more historic appearance. The worn plywood sheathing will be replaced with slats and new windows that will more closely resemble the original structure. There will also be minor repairs to a 1980s facade on the opposite side of the building facing Route 216, Hufnagel said.
The criteria for granting are that the restaurant has a small number of employees and exists in a building that is on the National Historic Register. Hufnagel said that while the building itself is not on the registry, it does qualify because it is part of historic downtown Glen Rock.
Hufnagel said the goal is to make the rear of the building more age-appropriate, “more 1840s than 1980s.”
The main mill building, originally built in 1832, operated as various mills until the late 1970s when it closed. After several years of being vacant and deteriorating, the complex was purchased for $7,500. A million dollar renovation project by the Artrip family transformed the structure into a restaurant with accommodation. The restaurant opened in 1986, according to Glen Rock Mill Inn history.
The complex now consists of the main factory building and the former Seigman & Wherley’s Gents Furnishings store, which now houses the Simply Local store.
Plans for the complex include restoring the facade of the Wherley Building and returning the dormer windows removed long ago to this mansard roof. The rounded windows to the right of the main mill building were actually part of the 1984 renovation and will eventually return to their 1840s appearance, Hufnagel said.
The motivation behind all the plans and grant applications, according to Hufnagel, is that “we want the building to be here for another 100 years.”
“These small restaurants not only reflect the history of their neighborhoods, but also their future,” said Katherine Malone-France, preservation manager at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, in a press release announcing the grants.
“They represent the dynamic and vibrant nature of conservation today, relevant to customers while being deeply rooted in the heritage of coming together around good food.”
For more information on the Glen Rock Mill Inn, see their website: glenrockmillinn.com.
To find out more about the 25 restaurants concerned, go to: saveplaces.org/historicrestaurants.
I’ve been capturing life through the lens since 1983 and am currently a visual reporter with the USAToday Network. You can reach me at [email protected]