It’s been a long road…18 months to the day, in fact. But at last, the Grant Street Mansion is no longer just a thought or a possibility. No longer a work in progress or an unapproachable landmark. It’s home.
On Monday morning, May 16, 2016, the Unbridled community arrived at 1115 Grant Street to “Bubbles & Burritos” and a heartfelt welcome from Stan. With unabashed emotion, he expressed his hope that the Mansion would be a true home to each of us…
A place where you are seen and known.
A place occupied by family, where who you are is more important than what you do.
Where your worst day is trumped by the belief in your greatness.
Where you are safe and have room to grow.
Where you can’t settle for less because others have seen your potential.
Where failure is just a longer road to victory.
A place to be challenged and a place to dream.
A place where launching becomes a celebration instead of a farewell party.
Home is the place in all the world where hearts are sure of each other. It is the place of confidence…where we tear off that mask of guarded and suspicious coldness the world forces us to wear in self-defense, and where we pour out the unreserved communications of full and confiding hearts. It is the spot where expressions of tenderness gush without any sensation of awkwardness and without any dread of ridicule.
— Frederick W. Robertson
Our good friend and architect, Natalie Lord, joined us for the festivities, adding both historical and personal perspectives on the restoration project and the relationships that developed on the road to the Mansion. Afterward, she confided that most of what she had planned to say was derailed by her own gush of emotion, so her additional remarks are included below.
She referred to Dennis Sheedy by his first name, as if she knew him personally. She spoke of his early years, fleeing Ireland with his family during the Potato Famine when he was a year old. Settling in Pennsylvania, then moving to the mid-west at 12, where his father and two siblings died within a year, leaving Dennis to care for his mother and sister at the age of 13.
She drew parallels between Dennis and Stan…their natural talent for business, obvious in both at a young age. Their eye for trends and market needs. The impact astute and visionary business leaders can have in their communities and cities. Their ability to thrive during times of recession when other businesses fail, remaining humble and thankful in times of good fortune and great loss.
Personally, I am thankful unto God for his manifold blessings. I am thankful, too, that I have lived to see the fulfillment of the biblical prophecy that ‘the desert shall blossom as the rose,’ and see the land that I traversed so many times when it was a land of savagery and barrenness transformed into a land of cities and towns, and prosperous farms and orchards.
This and other quotes from Sheedy’s autobiography reminded her of Stan and the Unbridled community, she told us. “It makes me realize how happy Dennis would be that you all are here to continue his legacy. This grand home was obviously built for a large family…a dream Sheedy would not realize, but is finally being fulfilled through the Unbridled family.”
I had gone out into the world to not only better my own position in life, but to better theirs (his sister and mother) and in the years that followed, I looked after them. It is to this day a source of great personal comfort to know that I was so fortunate as to be able to give my mother everything that she wanted, for there can be but one mother. The objective of every man should be to care for those close to him, and to provide them with not only the comforts, but some of the luxuries in life.
She likened Sheedy’s passion to see young men become “captains of industry” to the Emergent vision of merging the wisdom of resourced business leaders with the innovative energy of next-generation entrepreneurs.
I say the time of opportunity is now, when there are more people and more business to create opportunity. I look all around and I see in all lines of business young men who in the years to come will have grasped opportunity and will be the captains of industry, as I see men today whom I knew when they were starting out in life, determined to succeed, and did.
And in conclusion, she alluded to her first encounter with Stan…when Humphries Poli and Unbridled came together to find the balance between celebrating the historic features, restoring elements that had been hidden or covered up, and bringing new life to the Mansion.
“It seems this building found each of us. It was looking to be restored and given new life. It was looking to celebrate its past, but also to become a launching pad for the continued success the Unbridled companies and family. I am so honored to have been able to work on this project. It is truly a dream come true, and I hope you cherish this building, and find inspiration and growth inside it. Welcome Home!”