Galena, Illinois is small, midwestern city known for its well-preserved 19th century buildings like the home of Ulysses S. Grant. A section of the city is even listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. Within those historic boundaries, a dilapidated home sits on top of a hill on Prospect Street next to a luxury bed and breakfast. It was built in 1848 and it shows.
The walls are cracked.
The four layers of wall paper are peeling.
The ceiling is ruptured.
But to Dan Meneguin, it’s home. A home where he has fond memories as a little kid when his great-great grandfather owned it.
Meneguin laughed as he recalled, “It’s the only home I sleep walked in.”
“My great aunts would have people over for tea parties,” he added. “It was a really interesting experience.”
When the 170-year-old home was for sale, he knew he had to get it back in the Meneguin’s name despite its condition.
“It’s a beautiful master piece,” he said. “It just needs a lot of work.”
Now Meneguin, a disabled veteran turned DIYer, is involved with the largest home renovation project of his life. For months, Meneguin has slowly gone room by room, remodeling the home to bring it back to life.
“There’s something inside of me that I feel like I have to go down this road and do it. In honor of my family.”
Meneguin admits it’s been frustrating. Running into Murphy’s Law is the new norm. So, he and his service dog Lily, load up the truck and cross the Mississippi river to the Dubuque, Iowa Lowe’s multiple times a week. The store has been involved with the renovation since day one, helping Meneguin find everything he needs, from guidance on how-to projects to appliance recommendations.
“It’s amazing that he’s investing his time, money and the emphasis of his heart into where he lives,” said Dubuque store manager, Mike Bryson. “And for him to bring it back to some sort of memory he has or to a special place in his life, it’s just great that we get to be part of that.”
Although the journey to a complete renovation may be a long one, Lowe’s was there at the start and will be there for Meneguin through the end.