Real estate

How to live at city hall – or a post office

June 2, 2014 at 3:18 PM ET

Government buildings that have outlived their public use sometimes hit the open market. The private homes they turn into carry a hint of the past — or a lot more. Check out these former government buildings that have been converted into private homes.

Former city hall

1 W Main St, Gaastra, Michigan

For sale: $99,000

Former city hall in Gaastra, Mich.
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Former city hall in Gaastra, Mich.

This former city hall building features tin ceilings and hardwood floors in 8,400 square feet of living space. The current owner uses it as an art studio, but the space has potential for more bedrooms and bathrooms for a buyer with the right vision.

The 1940 building is on the market for $1,000 less than the owner paid for it in 2006.

Loft apartment in former school

171 S 15th St APT 102, Pittsburgh

For sale: $165,000

Loft apartment in former school in Pittburgh
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Loft apartment in former school in Pittburgh

This former Catholic school was built in the late 19th century for Polish immigrants moving to Pittsburgh’s South Side. In 1996, it was converted into lofts, with high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling arched windows and original hardwood floors and window trim.

This one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo is updated with new kitchen appliances and for sale for $165,000.

Schoolhouse turned house

9557 County J, Forestville, Wisconsin

For sale: $485,000

Former school in Forestville, Wis.
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Former school in Forestville, Wis.

The former Roosevelt School still has the plaque on its brick exterior with the 1909 date of its establishment. But inside, it has been converted into a stately three-bedroom, four-bath home with 6-foot windows and a spacious kitchen and dining area.

The 6,500-square-foot home sits on 1.5 acres in the country village of Forestville.

Former firehouse

7931 Traders Ln, Indianapolis

For sale: $255,000

Former Indianapolis fire house
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Former Indianapolis fire house

Don’t be fooled by the exterior of this former fire station in Indianapolis. It looks like it could still accommodate a ladder truck, but the inside is a full-blown family home, with an updated kitchen, two offices and a master suite equipped with a whirlpool tub.

You’ll have to park your firetruck outside, in the still-existing parking lot. The listing probably sums it up best: “Tired of the same old look, here you go!”

Historic post office

618 Waterloo Creek Dr, Dorchester, Iowa

For sale: $100,000

Former post office in Dorchester, Iowa
Zillow
Former post office in Dorchester, Iowa

This historic post office in northeast Iowa has been converted into a four-bedroom, two-bath home. Only part of the building is finished — the former post office space is attached to the finished living area.

The historic spot, built in 1886, is listed furnished for $100,000.

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Emily Heffter, a reporter and writer for Zillow Blog, covers celebrity real estate, unusual properties, and other real estate topics. Read more of her work here.

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