NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Fredonia Hotel is in the very middle of its interior demolition.
As a result, this is a good time to update Nacogdoches residents curious about the renovations. East Texas News got a closer look after the monthly chamber luncheon.
The Fredonia Hotel's newest logo, resembling the 1950 original, was displayed before Nacogdoches Chamber members. John McLaren, the general manager, is overseeing the Richard and Barbara DeWitt renovation project, and the start-up cost is over $12-million dollars.
"At one point Richard was like, 'Stop opening walls,'" McLaren said with a chuckle. "We're finding … we can't take any more of this, but yes there has been a few surprises behind the walls."
Specifically, water and termite damage is leading to extensive repairs.
"A lot more work behind the scenes than we thought," McLaren said.
An unpleasant surprise when it's too late to turn back. Even the atrium tree came down due to rot. Inside the ceilings are exposed. Wiring, set to be replaced, hangs everywhere.
"We are doing it the right way and approaching it from, it gets done correctly," said McLaren,
From the street workman can be seen hand scraping paint away from interior brick so the original look can be returned. The green wrought iron will be returned to its original white. For the most part, local contractors are hired as another gesture to return something back to the community.
"We're in talks with the Farmers Market and some of the folks out there to try to bring farm to table at the restaurants there." McLaren said. "He really wants to carry it through to the demolition to the construction to the execution and to the opening."
That should hopefully come by October of 2016 if nothing more is found behind all those exposed walls.
John McLaren has been in the hotel and restaurant business for over 25 years. He moved to East Texas to raise a family with his wife, a Nacogdoches native.