A New Beginning: Whitehaven Hotel getting fresh look

August 25, 1999 – By MARK STAROSIELEC, Daily Times Staff writer

WHITEHAVEN – Restoration of the Whitehaven Hotel is a little behind schedule, but is on budget and should be complete sometime in early 2000, officials said Tuesday.

“The exterior renovation will be completed this fall,” said Pat Russell, a Whitehaven resident and vice president of Wicomico County Historical Properties Inc. since 1994. She said the third phase of the three-phase project, in which the interior will be renovated, will begin soon thereafter

The hotel, which is more than 100 years old, has been vacant since 1982.

In 1994, Russell and her nonprofit organization were successful in purchasing the hotel in an auction. Two years later, they got it placed on the Nation al Register of Historic Places.

Also in 1996, the organization along with the Maryland Historical Trust and with the assistance of a $200,000 public-private grant from the Maryland Board of Public Works, helped initiate restoration of the hotel. The project is expected to cost $500,000.

“The building was derelict,” said Russell. “People were intrigued. Many though the building could never be restored.”

Ken Trippe did.

The Salisbury-based CrestarBank business banker purchased the property in July and subsidized the remaining $210,000 needed to finish the renovation project.

Trippe could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

According to Russell, Trippe will turn the seven-room 6,488 square-foot building into more than just a bed and breakfast.

There are plans to include a reception and business area and a catered kitchen. There may also be a small country store.

Russell said besides being a little behind schedule, the restoration project has been smoother than anticipated.

“We are absolutely thrilled with it,” she said. “Contractor A. Reginald Mariner and Ken Trippe are two talented people.

“They have the right vision.”

Reprinted with permission of The Daily Times (Salisbury, MD)