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Edgewood Mansion to be brought back to its former glory

A ramshackle mansion on Storm Avenue will soon get the facelift it deserves.

The Brookhaven Zoning Board Thursday approved a special-use permit for Edgewood Mansion which will allow it to be used as an event venue and residence. Located on 412 Storm Ave., the once-stately home has been in need of repair for some time.

“Time is of the essence,” said Bill Boerner, an attorney representing David Walker who is the executor of the estate.

The mansion has had several different names in the past such as the Butterfield Mansion and the Lovell House. Built in 1912, the 105-year-old building faced several obstacles.

David Lovell, Walker’s late uncle, purchased the house in 1955.

“The entire time Mr. Lovell owned the place, he rented his house out for events. It wasn’t authorized by Lovell for the many years that he did it. It wasn’t an issue,” said Boerner. “Since the property is changing hands now, the purchaser does not want this to come up as an afterthought.”

Boerner continued, “We feel like this is an obvious need for the city of Brookhaven. For the past decade this property has needed repairs. It is one of the more beautiful locations in the city.”

Edgewood was recently purchased by Jeff Cross. “Its always been a dream of my wife to have a wedding venue,” Cross said. “She grew up in Wesson and we both thought it was a beautiful place. It has a lot of historical value and that’s something I have a passion for, I love to restore old properties.”

The property is in Zone R-1, which means owners aren’t authorized to hold functions there. The special-use permit changes that.

Cross intends to renovate the property as soon as possible. He wants to bring the property back to its proper grandeur. There are no plans of building additional structures or walls but to restore what is there. He also plans to host wedding receptions, meetings and charity ball-type functions. Cross intends to establish a perimeter fence for the benefit of the neighbors.

Several neighbors were also in attendance at the meeting and fully supported the idea that Cross has in mind.

The Edgewood property is 1.22 acres. Under the current ordinance, the special-use permit is allowed only for properties of three acres or more. The zoning board will waive the three-acre requirement and allow Cross to proceed with the renovation of the project which will allow Edgewood to be used for recreation and occupancy.

Bill Jacobs, who grew up on Storm Avenue, recalls times of playing in the house as kid and also the historical significance it brings to Brookhaven.

“The story I learned recently adds interest to the house and the community,” he said. “The Butterfields, who built the house, were in England and had tickets to get on the Titanic. They didn’t make the trip but did make it to Brookhaven to build the house.”

Letters were also obtained from surrounding property owners in support of the renovations.

Cross doesn’t know when the renovations will be completed.

“Ask me in a year and I’ll tell you how much longer I have to go,” he said.