Elegant Town Hall

You can't fight city hall, but sometimes you can live in it.

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Natives Jill and Scott Calhoun wanted to get in on the revitalization taking place in Rutherfordton, N.C. So the couple returned to their hometown and converted the former town hall into a home to raise their two children. The 1925 building also has a history with Jill, who as a child had taken dance classes in a room upstairs.

The 8,000-square-foot former municipal building has seen many uses, including a fire station, police department and of course city government offices. Today, the downtown location means the Calhouns are within walking distance of entertainment, restaurants and businesses. The current mayor if Rutherfordton, Sally Lesher, supported the Calhouns in their efforts to bring new life to the once-dingy building. General contractor Steve Padgett made an effort to maintain the 1920s Georgian design theme while updating it for family life.

The original layout of the building was retained and no walls were removed. The living room was once the council meeting chamber. Jill painted an artificial Christmas tree gold, covered it in lights and convinced Scott it would make a lovely chandelier for the living room, which it did. The hallway between the bedrooms looks nothing like the well-worn industrial space it used to be. To create an outdoor space, the Calhouns turned the town hall parking lot into a walled courtyard complete with fountains and plants.

The building’s former vaults are now very secure walk-in closets. The bays where fire trucks used to park have become one big playroom. As for bedrooms, the children sleep in the former interrogation and patrol offices while the parents get the old police chief’s office. Both children have large bedrooms with lofts overlooking the sleeping areas.

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