Former East Liverpool Bank Building Getting New Life

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – A former bank in the city’s historic downtown district is being renovated and turned into a beauty salon.

The Design Review Board voted unanimously at a recent meeting in favor of a certificate of appropriateness application for the former First National Bank building at 125 E. Fourth St. The application was submitted by Jessica Ludwig, who purchased the property in August.

For the past six years, Ludwig has rented space on St. Clair Avenue in Calcutta for her salon, Edge Hair Studio, and had been looking for a location to buy when she learned the downtown property was for sale.

Easily recognizable by its unusual round shape, the building had been vacant for 20 years.

“It’s a really nice location, connected to Umbrella Alley,” Ludwig said, referring to the recently completed alleyway where colorful hanging umbrellas attract many visitors to the city.

Edge Hair Studio has two employees, and Ludwig said she plans to hire two more for a total of four chairs in her newly renovated salon.

Ludwig is looking at possibly adding a spa in the building’s full basement, which she said served as a bomb shelter in the past.

Since purchasing the property, Ludwig has been “gutting it,” and there are “a lot of hoops to jump through” to prepare the building for complete renovation.

She presented plans to the Design Review Board that include removing all tell-tale signs of the building’s former use as a bank, including razing the drive-through – which will add more parking space – and removing the deposit area from the front and replacing it with original stone removed from elsewhere on the building.

Ludwig said she also plans to add windows, repair the skylight, paint the building in shades of charcoal with black trim and add an emergency exit door in the back.

An architect and local contractors have been lined up, Ludwig said. State permits still need to be approved.

“So now it’s just a waiting game,” she said.

She said she hopes to have the building open for business by August.

“It’s definitely positive, another business coming,” said Mayor Greg Bricker, a member of the Design Review Board.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.