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The ‘mystery’ behind the White House

Historic building with rich history now serves as office space for local professionals

The White House was built in 1904 as a summer home for Ernest White and now houses office space for dozens of small businesses.

The White House was built in 1904 as a summer home for Ernest White and now houses office space for dozens of small businesses. PhotosByFine

— “He had just sold his business and lived in Cazenovia, and he said he wanted to have an office on the east side of town,” she said. “So, one day he was driving by the building and said, ‘I’m going to make that into an office building with an open office concept.’”

Jody, who had just left a large public relations agency in Massachusetts to start her own PR business, said Peter encouraged her to move her business out of her home and into the White House.

“As soon as I took an office upstairs, there was an instant credibility of having a real office, with people answering the phones for you,” she said. “For a small business person, it’s perfect – it’s like you have staff members. And that’s a big thing for small business owners – when clients come in, someone offers them refreshments and there’s a nice conference room if they need it. It really gives the business credibility.”

The White House today

Not much has changed in the day-to-day operations of the White House since Reynolds began leasing it in the late 1970s. There’s a new wing, built in the 1990s, and a salon out back in addition to the 31 offices, but the building has retained its old-time charm. From psychiatrists to lawyers to sales representatives, many different areas of business are represented within its walls.

And many of the tenants have been there for decades. Brad Mann, a certified public accountant, has been working out of the White House since 1980.

“It’s just the perfect spot for me,” Mann said. “I left a big accounting firm in 1980 and have been here ever since. It’s very friendly and comfortable – most of the office doors are always open here. A lot of people here are very good friends.”

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