Dr. Percy Cook’s old medical office at 315 S. Main St. will get new life this summer as the home base for a pediatric nursing and hospice care business.
The 1950s-era duplex office has been empty for years while other buildings have been torn down or revitalized as part of downtown Mansfield’s resurgence. The building’s new owners want to maintain the historical look of the exterior, bring the interior up to 21st-century standards and still recognize Cook’s legacy.
The 3,500-square-foot building was purchased in February by business partners Craig Porter, David Dowd and Will Eubanks, who together formed a new company called Percy Cook Inc. to honor the longtime “Country Doctor” known for making house calls via helicopter. They plan to open in June.
“We saw that there’s a tremendous amount of work that needed to be done. We also saw that this could be a great place where we could maintain the history of what had gone on in this building for decades, keeping the healthcare theme,” said Dowd. “We can be a vibrant part of the Mansfield revitalization and help bring this building up like what Mansfield is doing throughout downtown.”
The general contractor, Russell Commercial Services, has taken the walls down to the studs and, in many cases, the studs and roof beams were replaced. There’s all new ductwork, electrical wiring and high-speed internet wired throughout. The windows are all being replaced, too.
The brick will be painted white, and the trim will be painted red or charcoal black. Porter said they would like to have the building recognized by the Historic Landmark Commission in Mansfield.
Efforts are underway to restore some of the original wood floors and install a plaque that honors Cook’s many decades of contributions to Mansfield. The building’s design appealed to them because they could house One Accord Home Health Inc. in one half of the building and AlēvCare Hospice in the other.
Patients won’t be coming to the facility for treatment. The building will be primarily for a 20 to 25 administrative staff who will oversee teams of nurses making house calls to children and hospice patients. Dowd will be the president of AlēvCare and an alternate administrator for AlēvCare and One Accord. Porter will be the CFO and administrator for both businesses. And Eubanks will be president of One Accord.
Dowd has always dreamed of having a business in a quaint downtown, he said.
“I feel a calmness and a closeness to the location being in the small town,” he said. “I’ve always been partial to downtown.” The building will have eight offices — four on each side — a large conference room, a break room and walk-up desk space where nurses can stop by to finish their notes.
In back, there’s a ninth office with a private entrance that will be rented to a tenant, Nationwide Insurance. Behind that, there’s a garage where Cook kept a 1965 Ford Thunderbird for many decades.
That car, like the building, is being restored now. The garage in the back will be converted to office space to handle future growth.
They purchased the building from Jessica Rychlik, who bought the building in July with plans to put her real estate business, Seven6 Realty, in one half and a co-working space for entrepreneurs in the other. The restoration never got started and Rychlik put the building back on the market.
Big changes coming
The restoration will be finishing up this summer just as the transformation of South Main Street begins. Mansfield plans to rebuild South Main Street from East Broad Street to Hunt Street with on-street, back-in parking spaces, wide sidewalks, park benches, planters and a shared bike lane.
The road will still be four lanes, but traffic will be slowed down to make the downtown strip more pedestrian-friendly. There will be six back-in parking spaces in front of the office, plus Dowd said they can use the parking at the Mansfield Economic Development Corp. building next door.
Mayor David Cook (no relation to Percy Cook) said he’s excited to see more revitalization on South Main Street. Mansfield has already added The Lot, Twisted Root and Mellow Mushroom. “And to top it off, seeing what Will and David are doing to honor and recognize the work of Dr. Percy Cook is so appropriate and fitting, to say the least,” Cook said. “What an amazing legacy Dr. Cook left for Mansfield.”
About Dr. Percy Cook
Cook served as a medic in the Army in World War II before he moved to Mansfield. He established the doctor’s office in 1953 with one half of the building being his medical practice and the other being his family home. A few years later, the family moved out, freeing up space for pharmacists and dentists to rent space in the southern half of the building. Cook would later be instrumental in running Cedars Hospital on East Broad Street, the current site of the Mansfield Public Safety Building. He had a passion for economic development, advocating for new businesses and industries to come to town.