Lawton woman renovates historic mansions

Lawton woman renovates historic mansions
[Source KSWO]
[Source KSWO]
LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Two historic mansions in Lawton could soon be getting a much-need face lift.
Kathye New bought both the homes for 100-thousand dollars.
One of the properties on 8th and D avenue sits right next door to the childhood home of actress Joan Crawford.
She also owns another one at 8th and E avenue.
She says her goal is to turn them into businesses that residents will enjoy.
"My mom used to bring us on Sundays and we would drive through Lawton and look at all the mansions, said New. "They're all gone."
Except for these two which Kathye New hopes to restore their old glory.
She spent 100-thousand dollars purchasing both properties and brainstormed what she could do with the new space.
The home on E avenue was originally owned by an artist.
And since New has been painting since she was three, she said it was a no-brainer to transform the home into an art gallery.
However, the one on D avenue is going to need more work.
"It's very dirty, said New. “I wear a hazmat mask and suit to go in there and clean it. I've taken about 27 bags of garbage out of two rooms and I still have a lot to do."
The house on D avenue is full of clutter and debris.
It's also in need of a new roof, plumbing and electric.
But, New said she can see it's potential.
"When you look at an old house,” said New. “You look from the bottom up. You start off if it has a sound foundation you can save that house. If it has a crumbling foundation everything falling in you really can't. This house is sound."
She said the time and money are well worth it for these homes.
She just needs help from the community.
"I'm here working all by myself and on both houses,” said New.  “And I'm trying to get the gallery started so, I can spend my time concentrating on the other house."
She believes the home on D avenue would be the perfect place for a day spa or honeymoon getaway.
But, the city told her they will tear the house down if she is unable to make progress soon.
She said that will be her worst nightmare considering the possibility of what they could be.
"They will always be in style,” said New. “Not like the mall that goes out of style ad things like that. These buildings are timeless."
New is seeking volunteers to help clean it up and to raise 10-thousand dollars. 
If you would like to donate your time or money, you can contact her directly at 580-512-1886.

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