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Renovation project brings new life to historic structure

Fort Walton Beach continues to be home to a number of construction projects, with renovations to the Gulfview Hotel expected to be completed by early February 2019. The historic hotel began the project in August 2018, transitioning to become a tourist welcome center for the Okaloosa County development department. The two-story building which dates back 112 years will also be home to a retail store featuring local products operated by the local chamber of commerce. It will include other attractions as well including the Billy Bowlegs Museum and leased meeting and office space.

The Gulfview Hotel is the oldest building in Fort Walton Beach, originally constructed as a hunting and fishing lodge in 1906. It operated as a hotel for over 70 years, from 1913 to 1986. Town officials and experts noted that the building remained structurally sound in many ways but required modern construction techniques to refit it for new purposes. The structure was strong enough to withstand a total move; the entire hotel was moved down Miracle Strip Parkway to a new location.

The specific construction projects at the site have included the building of a new front porch and steps, modifying the structure for accessibility for people with disabilities, repairing cracks in the plaster and constructing a stairway on the building's eastern side. The project also added a new back porch and windows to the existing building. More work is still to come, including restoring the historic roof and installing historically accurate lighting.

Historic renovation projects often include detailed work to bring a building back to its former glory, including the use of antique and vintage materials. Unfortunately, projects can often develop delays and other issues, leading to disputes. A construction law attorney might be able to work with contractors and businesses to negotiate clear, fair contracts and resolve issues before litigation becomes necessary.

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