The Misener Building was a commercial block erected in 1873 for the Gray Brothers Boot and Shoe Factory. Note the painted sign still visible above the third story advertising Gray Shoes. The building was purchased in the 1920s by the Misener Company, a manufacturer of circular saws. The new owners constructed the three-story addition on the west side of the building in 1930.
Steel-frame construction on the addition made the large windows possible. This along with fire-proofing, made the 20th century factory safer and more efficient than its 19th century predecessors. Today the mixed-use block features retail space on the first level and luxury residential space upstairs.
Several developers in recent years considered renovating this block, but walked away, until Richard Sykes, Jr. came on the scene. Many structural problems existed with the 1873 portion of this building. The foundation was solid, but the whole building leaned to the west. The outer wall along the Franklin Street side was bowed out. All of the floors tilted. The roof had holes in it. The interior required gutting. Sykes’ company, RHS Holdings LLC renovated the entire block into retail space, offices, and apartments, and in 2007, he and his company won The Pat Earle Award for renovation of the Misener Building at 202-210 Walton Street.