By Dianne Yost staff writer
Historic Madison’s picturesque Dovecote House (circa 1830) located at 201 South Main Street in downtown Madison across from the Madison ChopHouse Grille may soon become an inn if members of the Morgan County Planning Commission and Madison City Council approve a conditional use application. The Morgan County Planning Commission will address the Dovecote application during its January 15 meeting and the Madison City Council during its Febuary 9 meeting. Reams Real Estate, LLC purchased the property and closed on it in December 2014. According to records from the Morgan County Superior Court Clerk’s office, the purchase price of Dovecote House was about $555,000. Dovecote is situated in a Professional/Limited Commercial District (P-2) district, which “provides for areas for certain professional, office and service commercial to coexist with compatible residential uses without the threat of encroachment of more intense retail or general commercial uses.” The 0.51-acre, 6,000-square-foot Dovecote stands between Madison’s Advanced Family Eye Care and Laughing Moon retail shop. The City of Madison’s Zoning Ordinances, define an inn as: “a building or buildings in which lodging with five to 12 guest rooms, offered to the public for compensation including commercial restaurant and kitchen facilities as well as special event rentals both outdoor and indoor. The term should not be confused with a Bed & Breakfast Inn, where the owner occupation is requisite and prescribed conditions of use apply.” Patrick and Natalie Reams own and operate several companies with real estate holdings in Madison and Morgan County that include the downtown properties that house the Madison ChopHouse Grille and the former Avado Brands building located on Hancock Street in Madison that is being renovated for an assisted living facility. According to Natalie Reams the inn, if approved, will compliment the future assisted living facility for guests coming to visit residents as it’s located nearby and “across from the Madison ChopHouse and downtown shopping.” “Dovecote will feature up to seven guest rooms,” says Reams. She described the house as a bright space with a sunroom off the kitchen. She said it has eight fireplaces and open porches including a second floor porch. Reams says Dovecote will not require extensive renovations, but will likely need some updating. According to the property description by Madison Realty (which listed the property), Dovecote is an Original Plantation Plains home with Victorian detail added in 1885. It features 11.5-foot ceilings and all heart pine floors with heart pine parquet ceilings in the entry and living room. The home’s fireplace mantels were handmade at Madison’s renowned Variety Works. It features two staircases and a dining room that comfortably seats 12. It’s varied gabled ornamentation, elaborate brackets, spindlework porch detailing and roof finials are characteristic of the Queen Ann Style. The property also features a separate carriage home with a two-car carport as well as a dovecote built to resemble the original structure, which inspired the property’s name. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Dovecote served as an office building for The Bank of Morgan County. It was purchased in the 1990s and used most recently as a private residence.