One of Reading’s iconic landmarks has been put up for sale. The Stirling Guest Hotel Mansion and carriage house, a notable location in Reading for over 100 years, will be put on the market. Located at 1120 Centre Ave. near the Centre Park Historic District and Queen Anne Districts, the property spans 5-acres and is going up at the asking price of $1.75 million.
The hotel was originally built between the years 1890 and 1892 for a Reading icon, James Hervey Sternbergh and his second wife, Mary Candace Dodds. Sternbergh was an industrialist and inventor in Reading who founded American Iron and Steel Manufacturing Co. The building was named after a Scottish castle and was built by Bostonian architect Theophilus P. Chandler. The couple had six children, Gertrude Sternbergh Vetlesen, the youngest of which, lived in the home until her death in 1996 at the age of 96. Her portrait can still be seen in the parlor.
Since 1998 the building has been owned by Kaj K. Skov, an entrepreneur, and hotelier in the Reading area. Skov retired in 2009, and since that point, the hotel has been leased by Peter Sutliff and TJ Sophy, who run the hotel business. They both are looking to continue normal business operations at this point during the sale. The hotel currently books and hosts various events like weddings, dinner parties, weekend getaways, and musical events.
In Skov’s ownership, the building saw renovations totaling more than $700,000 to restore the building to previous greatness. Skov sought to “modernize” the interior assets of the hotel by trying to keep as much of the historical aspects as possible in the 24 rooms. From old closets, five new bathrooms were added and the building was brought to compliance with modern building codes by adding air conditioning, sprinklers, smoke detectors, and fire escape options. On the exterior, overgrowth and soot that formed over the years were removed to try and reveal the original beautiful architecture. Rose colored sandstone walls and limestone were revealed behind the overgrowth at the formal entrance facing Robeson Street.