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The Wesener Building: Preserving history with a modern spin

The Wesener Building: Preserving history with a modern spin

Peter Skornia
Peter Skornia

The Wesener Building at 104-108 North Washington St. is a special landmark located in the heart of downtown Owosso, MI. Originally constructed in 1885, it served as a focal point in the community until it was tragically burned down in the summer of 2007. The citizens of Owosso were devastated, and the building’s tarnished façade became an eyesore for the community.

Historic Wesener Building

Image Source: Brooks Innovative Graphics

Dave and Dianne Acton to the rescue

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) agreed to preserve the building in hopes that someone would take on the project. Gratefully, somebody did! Dave and Dianne Acton of Owosso couldn’t bear to see the building crumbling before the eyes of the community any longer, so in 2011 they decided to buy the property and take on the renovations. They started by putting a new roof on the building to prevent further water damage, but were not sure where to go from there.

The Bazzani team steps in

During that time, the Bazzani team was involved in the restoration and renovation of the Joseph H. Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts, also located in Owosso. Impressed with our work, the Acton’s approached Guy about the Wesener Building. We willingly jumped on the project and began work in early 2015.

Wesener Building Facade

Photography by Michael Paine Photography

Owosso’s first LEED-certified, mixed-use building

The vision for the Wesener building was to keep the renovations historically accurate while incorporating modern technology and resources to become the first LEED-certified, mixed-use property in the area. As a LEED-certified building, this structure is guaranteed to achieve high performance and sustainability through green design, construction, operation and maintenance.

After 5 years of hard work and expert planning, the vision of reconstructing the building for historical accuracy with a focus on modern sustainability practices was successfully accomplished.

The Wesener Building is the perfect retail spot

Today, the Wesener Building is complete with two retail spaces on the ground floor and six market-rate apartments for rent on the second and third floors. One of the retail spaces will become Dianne Acton’s bookstore, Owosso Books, with the second retail space still available for rent.

Wesener Building Interior 1

Wesener Building Interior 2

Photography by Whitney Dedic

Official ribbon-cutting ceremony

In accordance with the completion of the building’s renovations, Albert Martenis III, the building’s Owner Representative, and the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, will be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Wesener Building this Saturday, April 2 at 12:30 pm. Guided tours will follow the ceremony from 1 pm – 3 pm.

If you’re interested to learn more about the Wesener Building, contact Albert Martenis by phone at (313) 316-2202 or by email at

About the Author

Peter Skornia

Peter Skornia
EVP Operations

Peter has worked in the design and construction industry for owners, designers, contractors and developers on projects in over 25 states. These projects include new construction and renovation in office, residential, educational and medical markets ranging in cost from less than 100 thousand to over 100 million.

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