By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – For the past three years, Bainbridge native 26-year-old Kurt Riegel has made total, period-accurate restoration of one of Sidney’s oldest homes, the 1787, Federal-era Andrew Mann Inn, his creative focus.
Joined by partner Stefan Foster, 20, Riegel discussed their efforts with tri-town residents Wednesday, Jan. 17 during a presentation at the Sidney Memorial Public Library. The library and Sidney Historical Association co-sponsored the event.
Sidney Historical Association president Karen Cycon said, given that group’s mission to protect the past, Reigel’s presentation was a natural fit, particularly as the association works to find a new, brick-and-mortar home. Plans for the presentation, she said, got underway last fall.
“We have been trying to remain active while we search for a new home for the museum,” Cycon said. “Kurt is one of our trustees and has been a part of our committee to find a new home, so we have all been aware of his work on his house.”
Cycon added, “The Andrew Mann Inn is a place that many of our members have been very interested in.” The building was added to the State and National Register of Historical Places in 1980.
Riegel said the onetime inn, located at 383 state Highway 7 and built originally as a private home, caught his eye in childhood, spurring a lifelong passion for preservation.
“I’ve always been fascinated by old architecture and local history,” Riegel said. “And this has always been my dream home—this exact home. So, when we had the opportunity to purchase it, we jumped on it.”