Group hopes to save rundown, historic mansion - WNEM TV 5

Group hopes to save rundown, historic mansion

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan man is betting on his video skills to save a piece of Mid-Michigan history.

The Charles Lee Mansion was once a symbol of power and lumber baron wealth. Now it is rundown and boarded up.

One filmmaker said the more than 100-year-old mansion still has beauty and boundless potential.

"We're trying to raise awareness on the fact that this house really doesn't need to come down. The only problem is that people don't like the way it looks," said Alex Mixter, Saginaw filmmaker.

Mixter hopes his film-making skills will help save the mansion on Washington Avenue in Saginaw.

The house is also in pretty bad shape on the inside.

Mixter is with the group Re: Saginaw, which hopes to persuade the Saginaw County Land Bank to buy the lumber baron mansion from the city of Saginaw.

Mixter has several ideas on how to turn the mess of a building into a useful structure once again.

"Really, this could be anything. You could convert the upper floors into office space for non-profits. Or you could convert the lower floors into a coffee shop, a visitors center. It  could be a gift shop. It could be anything," Mixter said.

Cornelius Phelps, with the Ezekiel Project, feels it's important to make sure such historic structures don't disappear.

The Ezekiel Project is working with Mixter to save the mansion.

"I think that this house, whether it's developed as a business or a community resource or some kind of combination of both or even as a private residence, is incredibly important to this town," Phelps said.

Mixter and other folks who want to save the mansion hope to convince the county land bank to buy the building at its meeting in January.

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