‘Back to its former glory’ : Air bnb, retail space, ballrooom included in Van Horne upstairs restoration

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CCM/Thomas Clapper Construction is underway to restore the second and third floors of the historic Van Horne building in downtown Carrollton to its former glory.

By Thomas Clapper

CCM Reporter


Renovations are underway on the Van Horne building’s second and third floors to add air bnbs, a ballroom event center and more. 

The downtown Carrollton building was a grand hotel in the height of its glory in 1826 with 56 rooms upstairs.

“We want to bring it back to its former glory,” said Randi Bake, who along with her son, Grant Bake, are renovating the building. 

“If there were 56 rooms, they had to be pretty small,” Randi said, leading into plans for the renovation. 

“There will be five bed and breakfast full suites, two on the second floor and three on the third floor,” said Grant Bake. “There will be retail space for a gift shop, a check-in area for the rooms, three retail spaces will be rentable and a ballroom for events.”

Randi would like to have a small room to display local historical items as well. 

There will be an addition on the north side of the building that will house a 3-story elevator with lobbies and a staircase. 

The demolition work has been completed and took about two weeks. 

“I want to thank Mahlon Coblentz and M&R Construction who are doing all of the structural work and finish work,” said Grant. “We are working with various contractors to get the job done and we are trying to keep as many local as we can for this massive project.”

Randi Bake’s mother was an  antique enthusiast and had a baby grand piano that will call the ballroom its new home. She also is planning to obtain a Baldwin baby grand piano to place on the stage as well.

“My mother would be happy to know that the piano will be in use entertaining people at a ballroom and it is in the family,” said Randi. 

One of Randi’s goals is to host free concerts for the public at the ballroom. 

“I want this building to be a place of culture where people get together and enjoy talent in town,” said Randi. “I want this to be a place where anybody in the local area who has a band or wants to perform can do that.”

The ballroom will accommodate approximately 85-90 people. Smaller weddings, parties and dinners can be hosted there as well.

“The Van Horne Building was like a mini Biltmore in the 1800s,” said Bake. “There were balls, events, huge dinners and more. We want to bring that back.”

“I did a little bit of research and saw that in 1826, this was Victorian times,” said Randi Bake about when the building was purchased in 2019. “I thought if it was Victorian we should have a Victorian tearoom. I taught children for 40 years and never thought I would do a tea room. I was going to rent out the section for office space where Reminisce currently is. My fiancé, Rex Sponhaltz, said why don’t we open up an ice cream parlor. We decided to make the ice cream parlor in 50s theme.”

The air bnb rooms will follow the Victorian theme. Bake said she has five Victorian bedroom suits ready to go. The suites will be nightly rentals and be a bed and breakfast-style. 

Grant Bake is handling the construction side of the renovation and confirmed after testing there is no lead paint or asbestos in the building.


“The construction is amazing for being 195 years old,” said Grant Bake. “What they were able to do back then is amazing. It has a real hardwood timber frame. They don’t build stuff like this anymore, which is why it is so solid and will turn 200 years old in 2026.”

According to Grant, the renovation is going to be completed later this year, hopefully December, or next January at the very latest. As quickly as things are moving, he thinks it will be sooner rather than later.

The Bake family tried for nine months to get a grant from the Columbus Historical Society, but it simply did not happen. 

“This is a self-funded project,” said Grant. “We are working with Wayne Savings on financing and on the funding of the project. This is a big project to bring back a beautiful old building and to bring back a place to hold activities, we are very excited about it. We are passionate about the building and passionate about the community. We hope to contribute to the increase of businesses and the experience of downtown Carrollton.”

“I think the Van Horne building has a wonderful relaxing feeling, and I would like to make it my legacy,” said Randi Bake. “We have met wonderful people in the Grand Tea Room and Reminisce Ice Cream shop which is a reward in its own, and they are excited about what we are doing. It has been a great adventure so far.”

The first floor of the building is home to The Grand Team Room restaurant and Reminisce Ice Cream Parlor, both projects completed by the Bake family.

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