Home restoration on Museum Hill is woman’s lifestyle

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Home restoration on Museum Hill is woman's lifestyle
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Brenda Archdekin Riley shows off the exterior of the home she has restored and turned into her art studio. Archdekin Riley plans to renovate the home she bought across from her studio into an Airbnb. St. Joseph is filled with notable architecture, but one neighborhood in particular known as […]

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MUSEUM HILL 1
Brenda Archdekin Riley shows off the exterior of the home she has restored and turned into her art studio.
MUSUEM 2
Archdekin Riley plans to renovate the home she bought across from her studio into an Airbnb.

St. Joseph is filled with notable architecture, but one neighborhood in particular known as Museum Hill has a number of historic houses and has seen people do home restoration and find their passion.

Brenda Archdekin Riley has been involved in restoring three homes, one she lives in currently, one she uses as an art studio and one she has plans to turn into an Airbnb.

For Riley, the activity ties her two passions, history and art, together.

“I’m a true believer that we shouldn’t be tearing down anything else if we want to remain as a relevant Landmark District,” Riley said. “Other people see it as work, but when I get away from it for a while, like say, if I go on a road trip and looking at other historical towns, it’s not too long before I’m antsy to get back here and work on my project.”

Riley finds a passion in architecture and seeing what is behind the layers and the framework of the house. She also gets inspiration by having her art studio in a home she restored.

“I don’t think I could work in a new space, that’s just me, I have to be around old things,” Riley said. “It’s something that’s what I use for inspiration, and walking around the neighborhood or as I restore houses and I see an opportunity for an interesting photograph to share with people.”

The historic district showcases different houses, some of which are in better shape than others, but there is a growing group of people who see the beauty in these homes and want to keep their historical presence.

“It’s a rich community. When I think of the people I’ve met here, because you are a band of people that are all common-minded, you know, and you sort of depend on each other a lot, you know, there’s a lot of challenges,” Riley said.

She also uses her photography skills to promote the architecture of the district.

“I decided with my photography when I started taking it is that I could just share and, and inspire people to come down, walk around, take a closer look, you know, and enjoy it enjoy what we have,” Riley said.

She said she wants to be an advocate for the community and bring awareness to restoring homes. That is why she ultimately wanted to tell her story, to tell about the hard work and be a voice for a community that she has been so passionate about since she bought and restored her first home.

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