By Samantha O’Conner

soconner@bakercityherald.com

Carol Phillips smiles as she walks through the empty second story of the historic Haskell Building, gesturing to each room, describing its history and how she wants to preserve the Main Street structure and “get it back to life as it was originally set up.”

Phillips has owned the 124-year-old building, on the east side of Main between Washington and Court avenues, since January 2017.

She learned last week that she had received a $200,000 state grant, through the Oregon Main Street program, to continue restoring the building.

Phillips, who won a statewide award for best facade renovation in 2018 for her work on the Haskell Building, plans to use the money to restore its 5,000-square-foot second story, a space that once served as the Baker Elks Lodge.

She hopes to eventually rent the building for groups of vacationers who need a space larger than a typical house. The second story would also be available for events such as family reunions or a small wedding.

“I think it’ll take a couple of years to get everything done,” Phillips said. “It’s 2019, so 2021 maybe?”

The second floor has several rooms, a small kitchen area, and a viewing platform overlooking what used to be a dance floor. Phillips plans to put carpets in the bedrooms but just restore the hardwood floors and the dance floor.

Phillips said the second story originally had wooden support beams that began to fail about 25 years ago and were replaced with steel poles. She plans to remove the steel poles and install wooden support columns that will extend from the basement to the second-floor ceiling.

She also intends to install four skylights to bring in more light and better match the building’s original appearance. She said the skylights were removed when a new roof was installed.

“You can tell they had a purpose back in the day when (Mr. Haskell) built it,” Phillips said. “The light chambers are in really good condition.”

Phillips also plans to install new electrical wiring in the Haskell Building, along with a new heating and plumbing system.

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