Project With A Purpose

Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of articles looking at different developments in Jamestown’s upper floors. Previous upper floor stories included one on the Willow Bay Commerce Center, 21 E. Third St., the renovations done on the building where the Hall & Piazza law offices are located at 24 E. Third St., the apartment above Mason Fine Arts, 318 N. Main St., and the apartment above I’ve Been Framed, 205 N. Main St.

A four-story building along Second Street that was almost torn down because it was in such bad shape at the start of the new millennium is close to being completely renovated.

The building that houses Chautauqua Music and the new business Samsara Studios, 106-110 E. Second St., Jamestown, on the ground floor is three-fourths of the way toward restoration. In 2001, Pete Miraglia purchased the building which was about to be torn down for a buck, he said. Through the years, with support from his wife, Melissa, and assistance from his father, Rocco, Miraglia has renovated three floors in the building.

”It was the old Nelson’s Department Store, which closed in the 1960s. The building was constructed in 1899,” he said. ”The upper floors were still loaded with merchandise from the department store when I bought the building.”

The second floor is now the business office for the Internet business, Afloral.com, which makes silk flower arrangements. The third floor is now filled with several businesses. The floor is home to Mark Anderson Photography; Rick Pintagro’s Stairwell Studios; Compassionate Home Care of New York; and a new catering business which is opening in March.

Parts of the floor have not been completely finished, one section by choice. In Anderson’s studio, Miraglia said some of it wasn’t finished to preserve the old look of the building as background for photos. One section of the studio has an outdoor advertisement for tobacco that was painted on the side of the building next door. Prior to Miraglia’s building being built, the advertisement could be seen by people in downtown Jamestown in the late 1800s.

The fourth floor has not yet been renovated, and it shows. By looking at the fourth floor, people can see the extensive work done by Miraglia to keep the building standing. Miraglia said, prior to the renovations, the roof needed replacing which led to water damage throughout the building. Miraglia said he wants to start renovating the fourth floor next year.

For the first 10 years of the building’s renovation, Miraglia wasn’t even living in the area. Miraglia, a Jamestown native, and his wife lived in Cincinnati. The couple moved here two years ago, and now live in the area. Melissa Miraglia is the operator of the new Samsara Studios on the ground floor of the building. Miraglia said he wouldn’t have been able to renovate the building without help from his father while he lived in Cincinnati.

”I always wanted to fix up an old building downtown,” he said. ”I’m happy I did it. It gave me a significant purpose.”