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The Gallery Inn Bishop Hill

Bishop Hill, IL   Offered for sale at $258,000

With a population of 125 full time residents, Bishop Hill is a throwback to an earlier time and place; a safe, quiet village with a tree-filled park in the center of town. Overlooking the park, the stately Colony Administration Building was built in 1856 to serve as offices and living quarters for the colony administrators. The colonists constructed this example of Greek Revival architecture with brick produced in the colony. The walls, five courses thick, were then covered with stucco. The building consists of three floors, each measuring 1400 square feet, a full walk-up attic and two 2nd floor balconies, one a unique, cantilevered design.

The property is zoned for both Commercial and Residential use. The first floor has been in use as a retail shop for most of the last 100 years, and has recently been converted into a one-room office space and a one-bedroom apartment with the installation of a kitchen and 3/4 bath with washer/dryer hookups. This floor could easily be used as full retail space again if desired, or restyled into a two bedroom apartment.

Since July 2010, the second floor has been home to a small Inn with three guest rooms (each with full, private bath) a guest kitchen and parlor. The Inn has enjoyed great success, with a large number of regular return visitors. This floor is also very comfortably move-in ready if continuing to operate the Inn is not desired.

The third floor is mostly an untouched jewel, ready to finish to suit. Walls, woodwork, windows and floors have been repaired and/or restored, electrical circuit box is installed and Pex plumbing has been run to this level, which is currently unoccupied.

The walk-up attic features a skylight with roof access and original 1856 plank flooring, milled on-site in Bishop Hill. The original shutters for the building are housed here as well.

The property is a corner lot, measuring 97 feet by 97 feet, with one outbuilding, which was the original summer kitchen.

In the 1980's, the first of two restoration projects took place. The front double staircase and cantilevered balcony were rebuilt to match the original construction with support beams for the balcony extending 14 feet into the building. Work on the first floor included lowering the floor to allow for 8 foot ceilings, adding a full subfloor drainage system with sump pump, construction of a walnut staircase with banister for interior access between the first and second floor, and a complete sound system installed in the ceiling. An antique coal-burning fireplace was built in what is now a bedroom, and 400-amp electrical service was brought into the building.

The second major project began in 2008. All windows were repaired and each pane of glass reglazed throughout the building. On the second floor, all ceilings and walls were repaired and resurfaced, layers of paint were removed from the woodwork - down to bare wood - and repainted, all floors were repaired and painted. New Pex plumbing was installed along with ceiling fans in each room. Rear staircase and railing were rebuilt.

Located 2 hours west of Chicago in Henry County, Illinois, the Bishop Hill Colony was founded in 1846 by a group of Swedish immigrants seeking religious freedom in the United States. It was the first Swedish settlement in the Midwest and its history is an important part of Swedish heritage as well as the greater immigrant story in the United States.

Designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1984, the Bishop Hill Colony is also listed in the National Registry of Historic Places and is a State Historic Site in Illinois. A number of original colony buildings are still in use, with continuing restoration projects being undertaken by private owners and the Bishop Hill Heritage Association (BHHA).

Today the village maintains its Swedish feel and roots as a combination of museums run by the State of Illinois and the BHHA, quaint shops showcasing antiques, pottery and quilting, gift shops, the original Colony

Property Details
  • 3 Guest Rooms
  • 3 Guest Room Baths
  • Has Owner's Quarters
  • Built in 1856
  • Last Renovated in 2009
  • Opened in 2010
  • Building is 4,200 SQFT
  • Lot is 0.23 Acres
  • Photo Gallery
  • Property Website
Financial Details
  • Offered for sale at $258,000
  • Occupancy Rate: Operated part time
  • Average Daily Rate: $114.
  • Annual revenue is $20,000
  • Terms: Inn is operated part time and seasonally at this time. Potential for increased revenue virtually guaranteed if operating full time.
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