Former Bank Teller Renovates Old Workplace Into A Home
When Cathy Calhoun got her very first job, she never expected what would one day come from it. Signing on in 1972 to work as a teller at The National Bank of Spring City in Spring City, Pa., according to the video below, she would grow not only to be the owner of the building, but its permanent inhabitant.
When the bank closed down and the building was put on the market in 1989, Calhoun's former boss recommended the location for her jewelry business. But with insufficient foot traffic in the area, she felt the edifice would be better suited for something else: her home. After $52,000 spent on purchasing the vacant place, it still took Calhoun 24 years of home renovations to transform it into what it looks like today.
The 5,200-square-foot building was originally built in 1872. During its time as a bank, it printed over $3 million of national currency, some of which can be found in the hands of collectors today, according to Antique Money. When printing came to a halt in 1935, the bank continued on as a financial institution. When it finally closed for business in 1989, it looked as though the bank had simply "closed for the weekend," Calhoun says. She preserved the majority of the original layout, including the 40-foot ceiling, but with some clever changes she remodeled the bank into a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom house that even includes a sauna in the basement.
"I tried to preserve as much of the bank as possible when converting it into a house, but I knew I had to make it livable," Calhoun explains in the video. Mixed with her own special touches, Calhoun has done well incorporating the bank's little treasures into the decor. The skylight, chandelier, and vault are all original to the building. "Mostly the bank designed itself," she muses. Some of the monetary paraphernalia found within the abandoned safety deposit boxes now serve as decoration throughout her home. Although most of the boxes have been opened, there are still many for which she has no keys, she tells CNNMoney.
The exterior of the building is completely authentic, including its clock. Calhoun unveiled the timepiece after it was reinstalled, CNNMoney says, bringing back a bit of nostalgia for those who frequented the bank years ago. The double-door entrance is the same as well, except for the cheeky new gold lettering that reads "Calhoun Federal." Occasionally the sign will attract newcomers to the area who think it's still a functioning bank. "I always tell them, 'deposits only,'" she playfully told CNNMoney.
Calhoun's home is a great example of an original house design. Naturally, buildings like these don't come quite as cheap anymore, as house costs have increased dramatically in the last few decades, but perhaps this could serve as an eye-opening concept when the time has come to remodel your house. Letting the building's key features -- like her vault -- do most of the heavy lifting could be an original way to renovate the place while placing a clever, subtle focus on its most garish elements.
Calhoun is now the owner of award-winning retailer Calhoun Jewelers. Interestingly enough, the location for her workplace also happens to be a completely renovated old bank. A passion that turned a simple first job into a fully-formed lifestyle.