By HOWARD BALABAN
Medina Journal-Register — The Bigelow House at 204 West Center Street, one of the oldest in the Village of Medina, may soon take on a different local moniker.
Patricia Worrad, the home’s owner, has spent several years renovating the inside of the structure. When the Orleans County Chamber of Commerce announced a grant program to refurbish the outside of local homes and businesses late last year, Worrad applied. She later learned she was awarded one of several matching grants available.
She said her home had “a lot of potential” for improvement after weathering the wear and tear of over 120 years. She also said she felt a little bit of pressure once the grant came her way.
“In the beginning I felt some stress,” she said, alluding to the problem any homeowner faces when faced with a paint job: choosing a color.
“I bought 12 sample paints, and they weren’t cheap,” Worrad noted. “I couldn’t decide what to do until finally, one day, I saw a picture in the store and it set me off on my way. I’ve done some things different since, though.”
Worrad’s watched with joy on Wednesday as Josh Piscatelli’s crew from Pro Seal and Paint put the finishing touches on her home. She said her hope is that others see how well the program works and that they take advantage of it should it be made available again.
“It takes a little risk,” she explained, “but the reward is there.”
The reward she spoke of could be found in both the outside of the house, and the increased aesthetic value to West Center Street, Worrad noted.
“The area is pushing in all areas to be recognized and respected,” she said. “We’re not gunning to be huge; we’re happy with the small-town image. But we want it to be well run, we want it to look good, and we want it to attract people who like quality.”
Piscatelli said working on a home with historical value put a little added meaning onto the job.
“We did it like it was our own,” he said. “It’s a historical house, and you think back to what they did and how they did it when it was first built, and then you think about how we get to freshen it up, and give it another life and extend its life.”
Piscatelli said it was the first historical home he had worked on in Orleans County. He said the job included the tedious task of scraping away the old paint while adhering to current lead paint standards, which do not allow for sanding. There was also some intricate detail work and a little bit of carpenty.
As an Albion-based business, Piscatelli said he believed the grant program helps the community.
“It definitely helps tremendously because instead of putting the whole burden on the homeowner, the grant helps ease the cost,” he said. “And, it helps make the community look nicer.”
According to Worrad, who also had a new roof put on the house, the grant program also is efficient.
“I’ve found out that the people who have done the work have already been paid in full by the grant folks,” she said. “They’re very timely.”
Overall, Worrad said there is definitely a sense of pride at the completion of the work. And without the grant, she said it would have been much tougher to complete.