BUTLER — The Village of Butler welcomed a law office to town in a historic building earlier this month.
Attorney Deborah Mack, previously based in Lexington, opened her law office on Nov. 4 at 4 W. Elm St. She said she wanted to renovate the former bank building at the intersection of State Route 97 and State Route 95 to inspire other businesses in the area.
“It was a bit run down, but the bones are still good,” Mack said. “I’m very happy that I can add to our many businesses already that are trying to preserve our history but make sure the buildings are still used.”
Originally from Cleveland, the general practice lawyer with 27 years of experience is currently representing homeowners and property owners with claims against their insurance companies.
She said multiple community members helped her renovate her new office location, which the Butler Area Merchants Association helped open on Saturday.
“Even some students saw me carrying some mums to put outside the door and offered to help me, so it’s been very touching throughout this process,” Mack said.
“Village council members, business owners and community residents showed up to my opening to show their support and share their stories of what this building was when they were younger.”
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Village of Butler mayor Wes Dingus said he remembered the 4 W. Elm St. office being a hardware store.
“My grandma thought it might have been a bakery at some point, and I know Google Maps has listed it as a former fire station and village hall,” Dingus said. “Ms. Mack’s efforts there have definitely helped with our Main Street streetscape and I’m excited for the building to be used again.
“I was the zoning inspector years ago and there was always talk of what that building could become. Investment like that is contagious. If one business sees their neighbor put money into their building, I think they’re likely to do the same.”
According to the Richland County auditor’s office, the building was built in 1903, though Mack said some residents think the property has been around since the late 1800s.
“I’ve heard the previous tenants included a dentist, hardware store, bank and insurance office,” she said. “I’m really enjoying hearing those stories and memories, and hopefully this can help kick off more business in the area.”
Mack said her future goals for renovations include some painting and adding an outdoor clock that passing traffic can see.
“Bellville is having a huge surge of business right now, and so is downtown Mansfield, so I’m hoping we can bolster recognition for our Butler community and our rich heritage here,” she said.
Mack’s office is open by appointment. Her office phone is 419-884-4600.
Chuck Hahn, Cleveland Financial Group, invests in this independent reporting through a Newsroom Partnership. Learn more about Newsroom Partnerships.
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