The House of Joy at Grailville – file photos by David Miller

by David Miller

Loveland, Ohio – Loveland resident Deirdre Dyson expressed a vision for the Grailville property at Tuesday’s council meeting during the open forum. “I question the idea that residential development of the property is inevitable, said Dyson. Then she talked about her vision.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Our apology for the sound quality of this video. It was hard to overcome the HVAC noise just overhead, a soft-spoken person, and a podium mic that wasn’t producing much volume.

A transcript has now been added. Read it below.

Good Evening, Everybody,

My name is Deirdre Dyson. I live at 430 W. Loveland Ave. I’ve lived in Loveland – I discovered to my horror today – for 53 years. I knew it had been a while, but it’s been a pleasure, all those 53 years. 

I wish to talk to you this evening about Grailville, not about legislation and annexation, but just about Grailville itself. I’ve questioned the idea that residential development of the property is inevitable. Grailville is a classic gem of Victorian residential architecture. Many of the unique buildings on the property include: a dining hall designed by William Schickel; a venue for recitals, weddings, and events; trails; and much more. 

I understand and respect that Grailville wants and needs to sell the property, but I suggest their needs could tie in and satisfy one of Loveland’s greatest needs at the moment. In spite of the recent and the terrific, great growth and revitalization, there is one area, one item that is sadly missing in Loveland. It needs accommodations. I imagine many of you have tried to find a place for out-of-town guests within the ambience of the town. Not easy. There is an opportunity here, I believe, to transform the buildings into an absolute gem for the city, community, and area: a boutique hotel Bed & Breakfast Plus. 

Could the city actively seek a different kind of developer or group to purchase and restore the property with integrity and vision to honor its historic value? Other towns of Loveland’s sizer have renovated hotels; ornately painted mansions; emphasized architectural detail. Grailville offers all those possibilities and more, with attractive landscaping and walking trails. Just imagine how delightful it would be to stay in Grailville’s renovated, plush Bed & Breakfast rooms or hotel, go for a walk on the woodland property, then explore downtown area for communal bike trail and restaurants, etc. It would not generate traffic congestion like putting 250 or so homes in that area would generate. Road and sewer demands would be a fraction of the proposed development costs. 

If you have never set foot on the property, let me say that I’m not the only person to feel that there’s something very special there. You can feel it immediately you get on the property. It exudes an aura of calm and tranquility, what so many of us are seeking these days. Surely there must be some entrepreneur or company out there looking for just such an investment opportunity, to purchase to renovate as business opportunity that would serve us all.

Please don’t let Grailville be just another discarded jewel in the history of what used to be a quaint and unique town.

Thank you.