A 24,000-square-foot department store makes a roomy home.
Connie and Sam Street aren’t like most retirees. Instead of taking it easy during their retirement, they decided to convert a 24,000-square-foot department store into their home.
With the help of contractor Arlen Gattis, the Streets went with a loft-like floor plan on the top floor. Gattis even convinced the couple to move the grand staircase leading upstairs. It was off center, so they just took it apart and moved it a bit to line things up. Demolition revealed a wealth of architectural treasures including real maple floors and trim along with original tin ceilings.
The former ladies’ apparel department became the couple’s kitchen. The large kitchen is equipped with sleek, modern appliances and a beautiful granite countertop. A long bar with rustic wooden stools breaks up the space at the front of the home.
The hat sales area — now the vast, open laundry room — serves as a refuge of sorts for Connie and as a place to display her chicken collection. Sam uses the first floor as his art studio and office. But even though Sam's semi-retired, he and Connie will be plenty busy converting the two lower floors of the building.