ROCKPORT — The new owners of Toad Hall are giving the building a much-needed update.

Tom Eck and Victoria Wallins purchased the nearly century-old seaside building in 2017 for $1.15 million. They are in the midst of converting it into a single-family residence. Last month, they received a special permit from the town "to construct a roof-top structure on non-conforming property."

"The building has a roof deck that has been accessed through a hatch," explained Eck. "We got a permit to put in a stairway to get to the roof."

The conversion process has unfortunately hit a couple of bumps. Eck said the demolition process has exposed much more structural damage than anticipated.

"Over the years, saltwater has been leaking into the building through cracks," he said. "Much of the stonework has to be reset. That's why there's a cover over it right now."

Eck expects the "full restoration" will take about a year to complete. 

"This is something you can't rush," he said. 

Toad Hall was originally built in 1926 to house Granite Savings Bank. The stone bricks were procured from from the Pigeon Hill Granite Company. Before the building was sold to Eck and Wallins, it stood as Toad Hall Bookstore, first opened in 1972.  

Michael Cronin may be contacted at 978-675-2708, or mcronin@gloucestertimes.com.