Elijah McLean House

The Elijah McLean House on Front Street was built in 1839. It is one of the five oldest buildings in Washington.

Changes are planned for Elijah McLean’s.

After a private investment group purchased the historic Washington home this summer, the property is already undergoing some alterations. The city of Washington recently approved a demolition permit to allow the new owners to take down a garage on the property.

Washington City Planner Sal Maniaci said the city expects to get more permit requests soon. So far the city has only received the garage demolition permit.

The garage already has been removed.

Any major renovations would require a permit and an inspection.

Maniaci said because the building is in the historic district, all changes to the property need to be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission. The commission requires mandatory review, but compliance to its requests are voluntary.

Tony Bequette, the general contractor for the project, had requested to be on the agenda for Monday’s Historic Preservation Commission meeting, but that was pulled Monday afternoon. The commission was set to review plans for a new structure on the property north of where the garage had been.

The proposed structure had a two-story floor plan with at least nine guest rooms. Maniaci said that request was pulled because the applicant had said there were numerous changes to the proposed plan for the building.

Elijah McLean’s was officially sold Thursday, Aug. 3, after more than 11 years on the market. The home sold for $900,000, according RE/MAX agent Steve Luecker.

Luecker said he had been told the buyers plan to open up a restaurant with a wine bar, guest rooms and possibly utilize the building as a wedding venue.

Past Uses

Once the prominent home of a Washington physician, the 2 1/2-story building located at 600 W. Front St. served as a restaurant under prior owners. The most recent owners, Cynthia and Matt McKean of New Jersey, bought the circa 1839 building in 2003.

The McKeans opened a restaurant there in April 2004, but in early 2006 announced the business would be closed.

The approximately 11,000-square-foot building sits on 2.9 acres. The Mc-Keans purchased the building from Dibi Khanzada, a native of England, who had owned the property since 1988.

Under the McKeans’ ownership, the building underwent extensive renovations for several months before opening.