Historic Selma landmark gets facelift

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 22, 2004

Selma’s Grace Hall has been granted a new lease on life.

After being on the market for more than two years, the venerable landmark has been purchased by Dr. Richard Reynolds, a licensed practical psychologist with Behavioral Medicine, and his wife, Edith.

The Reynoldses closed on the property in December. Richard Reynolds said they are undecided at this point about whether they will use Grace Hall as their primary residence. &uot;The first order of business is to clean it up a bit,&uot; he added.

The years have taken their toll on the historic antebellum mansion built in 1857. Paint is peeling. Wood, exposed to the elements, has begun to crack and dry. Wind and cold seep in through cracks around the windows.

Last winter the structure suffered minor damage as a result of frozen pipes. Jewell Williamson, a Realtor at Cornerstone Realty, located across from Grace Hall on Lauderdale Street, took it upon herself to call a plumber to repair the pipes before any major water damage could occur.

The house was last owned by Coy and Joey Dillon, who puchased the property in 1981. In December 2002, the Dillons executed a foreclosure deed with Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, which purchased the house and property at auction.

Prior to the purchase by the Dillons the house had sat empty and even become a refuge for vagrants at one point. The Dillons made extensive repairs to the house and restored some semblance of the grandeur it once possessed.