This Woman Turned An Old Bank Into An Super Cool Home, With An Even Cooler Back Story

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Cathy Calhoun’s first job was as a bank teller at The National Bank of Spring City in Spring City, PA. She went on to own a jewelry store, but when she saw that the old bank was for sale in 1989, she jumped at the opportunity to buy it.

She paid $52,000 for the vacant building, but it would still take 24 years of renovating to transform it into what it looks like today.

The 5,200 square foot building was originally built in 1872, but looked to still be in great condition at the time of the sale. Cathy left a lot of the layout the same, but with some clever changes, it is now a 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom house that even has a special room in the basement.

Though she’s added a lot, the bank had its own little treasures that have become part of the decor – including the chandeliers, which are original to the building. Some of the monetary decorations were found within the abandoned safety deposit boxes. She has explored almost all of them, but there are 222 she has not been able to open since she doesn’t have the keys. I hope she is able to gain access to them someday, because there is no telling what could be hidden inside.

The exterior of the building looks the same as it always has, and she even returned the clock, which can be seen in the exterior shots, to its original spot. She unveiled it when it was reinstalled and she said people cried when they saw it in its original position. The double-door entrance is the same as well, except she put “Calhoun Federal” on it in gold lettering for fun. She said people who are interested in banking there still knock on the doors from time to time, but she playfully tells them that she is only accepting deposits.

She opened up the lobby to restore it to its original 40-foot height, and also hired a painter to decorate the ceiling. The baby pink clouds in a light blue sky are meant to imitate a sunset in the Pennsylvania countryside. She chose the old boardroom as her master suite and left it mostly the same. She described it on CNN Money: “It’s two stories high, has seating, a fireplace, a Jacuzzi and a big-screen TV.” It sounds quite luxurious.

I’ll let the video tell you about what she did with the vault in the basement, but there is actually something else hiding down there that isn’t mentioned in the clip. The local historical society claims there is a secret room where the old bank’s note-printing press is located. It is said they concreted the room closed rather than remove the press; Cathy’s next project will be to uncover that room.

What she has managed to do with this historical building is amazing. She’s stayed true to the original design while also giving it a modern flair that works wonderfully. At an original cost of only $52,000 (with an unknown amount spent on renovations), this looks to have been a very smart investment.