Front hallway in Miller Mansion

Bringing the past to life

If he hadn’t been an electrician, Larry Seward probably would have been a history teacher.

“Oh, I would have loved that,” he said. “I just love the past. I believe history should be preserved.”

Seward is sharing his love of history while sitting on a 1920’s couch inside a house built in 1909. The gorgeous home at 401 W. Jefferson has had many owners in its lifetime. Seward, who remembers seeing the house every day on his way to school at Lakeside, is the latest. 

“I got a call from a realtor telling me to look at the house,” said Seward, president and CEO of CDL Electric. “I didn’t really want a house this size, but she encouraged me to put in a bid. I put in a bid, and sure enough I ended up buying it.”

His original plan was to fix it up and sell it. Then a member of his team stepped in with an idea.

“Katie Gilkey was the project manager on this house, and she had an idea and vision for it to be an Airbnb,” Seward said. “I didn’t see it at first, but she convinced me to let her work on it a bit. She absolutely nailed it, and I was sold.”

“I just love the past. I believe history should be preserved.”

After two years of working on the home, collecting furniture, and cleaning, the historic house is officially on the Airbnb rental market.

“We’re just so excited to bring this place back to life,” Seward said. “When I first walked in, this house felt asleep. It needed new life, and that’s what we have done. Now we’re able to offer this up for wedding showers, family reunions, and other large gatherings, and those people get to come in and experience this beautiful home and all its features.”

The overall project is not complete, however, as Seward said his team has extensive plans for the exterior landscaping and the property’s carriage house. In the end, he hopes to give the entire property a new lease on life, especially at a time when the Pittsburg community is enjoying new energy and excitement.

“I love what’s happening in Pittsburg today,” Seward said. “We are so fortunate to have progressive city leadership. Daron Hall has done such a wonderful job of leading the city and supporting all of us who want to try something. Our city is in a great position right now, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here.”

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Exterior of Miller Mansion