Progress is steady on renovations at former Sue’s Hallmark building

| July 24, 2020

Liz Argyle is pictured standing beside one of the old fireplaces in the former Sue’s Hallmark building. (Jen Jones)

The former Sue’s Hallmark on Main Street is getting a huge renovation. Progress has been slow, thanks in part to the COVID-19 virus, but steady and plans are taking shape for five mid-high end apartments and two commercial areas when the building is finished early next summer.

Liz Argyle purchased the building without seeing the upper two floors, as is custom. “There are always surprises when that happens – some good and some bad. When we first looked at the building, we were told there was a huge beehive on the third floor. We hired someone to get rid of it, but I named the building Honey House because of that hive.”

“We see Coshocton as being on the upswing. We were looking to expand into another city and looked at several but chose Coshocton because of several things.  It has the perfect mix of tons of great buildings, great city leaders with the right mind set for lots of good stuff to come in and help move everyone forward,” said Argyle. “I think people are tired of mini-malls and are ready to have pride in their small cities again.”

Argyle said she is working with Gemini Construction as the contractor. “We’ve been hauling trash out since February. There was so much stuff left in the buildings – Hallmark stuff and things from the hat and shoe store that was here. Lots of nicer things, so I worked with Our Town Coshocton to have a sale. They organized it and I told them to use the profits for their organization. It was a nice community event. I’ve found hat stands and lots of other older things. What I can’t use, I found homes for here in town. It’s important to keep your local history here in Coshocton.”

She said that she has had salvage people (treasure hunters) go through the building and remove things that she won’t be able to use, such as antique sinks and water heaters. “I use everything I possibly can in my buildings, but some things just aren’t going to work.”

“These buildings need to be saved. No one builds them like this anymore.  Walking through gives you a sense of history of your town and they need to be preserved. Older buildings have so much potential.”

Argyle shared that there is extensive water damage in the building, but she is hopeful that most of the original hard wood flooring can be saved. “We are using all of the original doors in the hallway and leaving as much of the character of the building as we can.” The entire building will be rewired (it still has knob and tube electric), with new HVAC and plumbing.

“The water damage was not a good surprise, but one amazing surprise was, under the 12 layers of wallpaper, we found hand stenciling on the original plaster walls. I love finding things like that,” Argyle said.

The commercial spaces will have restored hardwood floors and tin ceilings.  “These beautiful ceilings were under the dropped ceiling. Many places did this when they added duct work. It was an easy way to cover up the duct work, but it hides so much beauty. This building has so many unique features – curved walls, huge, beautiful windows, and old fireplaces. I like to make unique places. So much of how we live is cookie cutter, anymore. I want something different.”

Argyle said she is actively looking for commercial tenants now. “I’d love to be able to customize the space according to what my tenant needs. I would also love to know what kind of business people would like to see here. A bakery?  Restaurant? A retail shop? Any input would be appreciated.”

The apartments will range from 1,400 square feet, with two bedrooms and two baths, to 1,000 square feet with one bedroom and bath. All will have updated kitchens, bathrooms and plenty of storage. “We are redoing the original windows and keeping them so all of the apartments will be bright and airy.” Argyle said she has started a waiting list for the apartments.

The outside of the building will be getting repainted, too, but she is keeping those color choices a surprise. “I looked around at the buildings beside us so I didn’t choose something that wouldn’t look right. I will say the colors aren’t quite as bold as some other buildings I have done. I’m just so excited to be here and can’t wait to see what else is in store for Coshocton. It’s great to be part of the community and watch it grow.”

For more information on the apartments or commercial areas, you can call Liz Argyle at 740-334-9095.

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