Home Business

I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten excited over a cute little cottage with a for-sale sign in the front yard, only to realize it’s zoned for commercial.

Sometimes it seems like half the historic homes in my town have been converted into businesses.

And while I think a mom and pop coffee shop can make a charming resident for a little old bungalow, it seems like an old house’s character and quirks sort of go to waste when it becomes, say, a law or insurance office.

And does it get any quirkier than this one’s brick wall?

I guess I like to be able to picture myself living in an old place – and a parking lot out front and fast-food joint next door disrupt my daydreams.

Of course, I’m probably missing the point. Most converted houses are situated on busy thoroughfares– good for business, not so good for raising your family. Then there’s the historic preservation aspect. I’m thankful that I live in a city where businesses and planning departments had the fortitude to preserve many (though certainly not all) of our old buildings. Better that the houses be used than left vacant and, ultimately, torn down.

Still, I sometimes imagine myself buying one of these businesses and turning it back into a home. But you know what would be even cooler?  Converting a historic school, church or – believe it or not – a post office into a home. Wish I had the guts to take on a project like this one.

Michael Luppino/This Old House

 U.S. Post Office becomes first-class home



Filed under bungalow, cottages, historic houses, old houses, real estate, Victorian

6 responses to “Home Business

  1. That’s the way it is in my area, too. So many great old houses have been converted into businesses of one type or another (attorney offices seem to be popular). I have actually daydreamed about starting various businesses just so I could justify buying some of them. Seems like it would be so nice to go to work in a great old house! 🙂

    That brick wall is very cool. Love that.

  2. It’s interesting how places can be transformed from homes into businesses and vice versa. And the article about the converted post office was really something — 16-foot ceilings and secret passageways? What a unique and fascinating place to turn into a home.

  3. cbx4

    I stumbled across this blog while searching Crater Lake vintage posters and low and behold, I see a picture of the Robie House! And then, Farmers and so on…oh and I know that crazy brick wall, I walk by it every day!!!
    So random that I would end up here. Me, an old house lover and in the same town!!!
    We own a vintage piece of that downtown too and LOVE IT!!!

    • What a cool coincidence! Though I guess it makes sense that other people living here would also appreciate old houses. We adore it here, too. I wish we owned a place downtown, like my parents…they’re lucky enough to live in a neat old house by the high school!

      • cbx4

        Interesting, they are near us!
        I LOVE YOUR kitchen!
        We have a very similar one, white subway tile, shaker cabinets, black granite and a black and white checkered floor.
        What year was your was your house built?

      • Ooh, I’ve always wanted a checkered floor….sometimes I regret putting in wood instead. Our house was built in 1942, so our kitchen isn’t quite period. The original owners would probably think it looks outdated, haha! Would love to have an older place, though, like my parents’ 1880-something home.

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