Owners Mike and Kate Phillips purchased the Centennial Building in 2015. Ever since they bought the nationally recognized structure, it was there vision to have the first floor be something that the public can access. The second and third floors will be short term vacation rentals.
“There’s one question and one comment we get from everybody is that well I love that building but I never been able to be in it,” said Kate. “And they want to see it.”
The Centennial Building was historically a space for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal society established in the early 1700s. Members were only allowed behind their doors. Over the years, groups of people have stepped inside. But the vast majority of Alpena’s community have not.
“For the doors to finally open to everybody it’ll be an interesting change in the building’s history,” said Mike.
The idea to open the door to the Centennial sparked when the Phillips’ found out about a new and forming Alpena historical society. The group needed a space. And Mike and Kate had the perfect spot for members to meet.
“We’re hoping to share [the building] with the public through the historical society,” said Kate. “The Centennial Building is all about history because it’s been here for so long and the historical society, I think, would be a good fit because it fits that category.”
The rooms are empty and in need of repair. Mike and Kate said they plan to keep the Centennial Building close to its original state as they begin transforming this piece of history.
“We’re finally getting ready to start the renovations and to give it a face lift and a new lease on life, another 140 years hopefully.”