Hotel getting a facelift

November 17, 1997

Hotel getting a facelift


Staff Writer, Waynesboro

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Leland Hotel, a longtime downtown Waynesboro landmark, is undergoing one of the biggest renovations in its 100-year history.

John Hashenpour, 33, a Germantown, Md., jewelry maker, bought the four-story hotel on the corner of Main Street and Cleveland Avenue in March as an investment. He said he's still not sure what his eventual plans are for the big brick structure.

He said he's considering two possibilities.

His first choice would be to convert it to a full-service personal care home for older residents with a package that includes meals, maid service, a chapel, dance floor and other recreation facilities.


"It would be the kind of place I would put my own parents in," he said.

His other choice is turning it into an upscale resort hotel featuring several restaurants, one of which would be formal. One also would be a crab house much like the one that operated when the building was known as the Mad Anthony Hotel. There also would be a regular bar, a sports bar and a patio bar atop the building facing West Main Street.

Hashenpour said if the building is transformed into a personal care facility, he would have to replace the elevator. If it remains a hotel, the current elevator will be used and he will hire an operator to run it, he said.

His eventual choice will depend on the recommendation of his architect following a review of the building, he said.

The hotel was occupied by longtime tenants who were living in its 11 apartments and 25 single rooms, Hashenpour said. Fifteen of the apartments had kitchens, all of which have been removed, he said.

Hashenpour said it took about two months to move all the tenants out before he could begin the renovations. He hopes to be finished in March.

He said contractors gave him estimates of more than $1.5 million to renovate the building, a sum he said he couldn't afford. He's doing much of the work himself and is hiring help for the rest.

So far he has nearly restored all 36 bathrooms. All will have tile floors and modern fixtures.

"I'm doing them all with my own hands," he said. A novice at trade skills, Hashenpour said he relied heavily on his skills as a jewelry maker.

"It taught me patience. I learned quickly that I wouldn't finish this in a few months," he said.

He had the roof replaced, along with all of the wiring, most of the plumbing and more than 200 windows, and has removed all of the asbestos. The massive ornate woodwork in the main lobby, on the staircases and elsewhere is being painstakingly stripped before it is refinished.

"He's doing something to the building that should have been done a long time go," said Douglas Pyle, Waynesboro building inspector. He said Hashenpour is following building and fire codes.

"He's bringing the building back to its former beauty," Pyle said.

Hashenpour is saving two huge murals on the west wall in what was once the main dining room of the hotel.

One depicts a map of Waynesboro in 1853 and the other shows Public Square in the mid-19th century. They were painted in 1964 and 1965 and are signed by Patricia Flanagan Nicholson.

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