STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – An old building on South Bridge Street in downtown Struthers is undergoing quite a transformation.
The building was recently purchased by Struthers native Kevin Walsh. Now, he and his nephews are transforming it into a gathering spot. He says it will feature shops, restaurants, art and event and workspaces.
Walsh was fascinated by the building’s history.
“It was originally a wood building, smaller, and it was a department store. A small five-and-dime type department store,” he said.
More recently, it was the Eagles building and then an antique store. Walsh said they’re gutting a lot of the building but not by choice.
“The brick structure, the steel structure was amazing. But when it was the antique store, sometime in the past, it developed a roof leak. A lot of water came in. An actual section of the second floor collapsed,” Walsh said.
In Walsh’s terms, they’re doing a period-correct renovation.
“I’m doing everything possible to make sure that it looks exactly like did day one,” Walsh said.
Inside the building, there are three floors. The basement will have what they call entrepreneur’s workspaces.
“It will be broken into little 10×12 workspaces that are available to rent. And it can be an artist, but it can be a craftsman, maybe someone that makes candles. We’ve had people approach us that make jewelry,” Walsh said.
The first floor will have a small space for the Sage Gallery, featuring local artists and some of a private collection. Walsh said it will be an open area.
“I want to replicate that feel of the department store,” he said.
The second floor will be an event space that will double as a common area. Some of it could also be used for local businesses or additional retail space.
Walsh says it will be a destination that will bring people to downtown Struthers, sitting on the same street as Selah and Donovito’s. He hopes diners will linger downtown after they eat.
Completion of the project is tentatively scheduled for late winter or spring of next year.