ANGEL OF THE MORNING
The days come and go along the shores of Geneva Lake, and the homes along the edges, built on some of the most expensive waterfront property on the planet, evolve and change substantially as new owners acquire the residences. A major interruption in that normally slow “evolving” occurred two years back when a woman from California (actually, born in Elmhurst, Illinois) purchased 91% of the largest residence along the lake called Stone Manor. The changes she has made to this decaying, near falling down structure, have been as astounding as they have been controversial. She’s set about rebuilding the whole place, bringing 21st century decorating, technology and building materials to a place that so badly needed such treatment. And this “angel of the morning,” as some have termed her, has taken a whole load of compliments and criticism along the way.
She’s building another home in Elmhurst so she engaged her general contractor there to redo the Manor. He failed to get some of the proper permits in doing the work so she’s been credited by some for not working to code. That she’s fixed all that with her contractor seems beside the point to some. But others stand in awe, as they gaze upon the results of her efforts. Some of the photographs of that terrific work are in this issue, and the series of videos the Geneva Shore Report has been allowed to make are as dynamic as they are qualitative when it comes to this application of great sums of money to improve a structure that was fast becoming decrepit and useless. Some residents and distant followers of the GSR have written concerns about the fact that some of the old woodwork has been painted over.
Well, the GSR is happy to report that that woodwork is all still there under the bright wondrous elegance of the mostly white paint currently covering it, and the effect is stunning. The residence has gone from being a place to be explored by scared children on Halloween to being able to replace the set for the movie Holiday Inn. To overstate the kind of work being done to this Stone Manor structure is almost impossible. The person responsible is also hard to say enough good things about when it comes to her participation in Lake Geneva.
She is the woman who heavily supported (and gave financial life) the Friends of Hillmoor. She gave when asked, and in large amounts…
without question, simply because it was a great thing to do for the community. She is also active in considering and funding other projects of merit around the lake. But there are always people who will criticize this sort of behavior, including other newspapers that really ought to know better, but do not. Tina Trahan is a building force on Geneva Lake, in Lake Geneva and that kind of brilliant building force, backed with substantial worth, is what is needed to help the city and the lake deal with a transformative future wherein the forces of development are coming and coming hard to replace a pristine grand area of quiet contemplation and relaxing pleasure with a concrete parking lot jungle.
Tina Trahan is to be praised at every step and to view what she has done with anything but an attitude of welcome amazement and smiling goodwill is to be retroactively ridiculous and presently damaging and dangerous to the community and the lake itself. Welcome, Tina Trahan, and the wonder of the 21st century you are bringing to Geneva Lake and the City of Lake Geneva. To call you the ‘angel of the morning’ is a misnomer simply because your arrival is not limited to any part of the day. The days and nights ahead are all going to be better for your presence and your influence and everyone who isn’t thankful for that ought to consider other parts of the country to reside in.