When Andrea McCulloch spoke with The Herald Journal about the potential of a revitalized building on Logan’s Center Street, she referenced the “Hello Girls,” the female switchboard operators who were part of the U.S. Army Signal Corps during World War I.
“Calls would come in … and they’d know you by name. They’d say, ‘Who would you like to call?’ and they would connect you,” said McCulloch, owner of the Logan-based Millieu Design, which played a huge role in getting the property to its current state. “It was a very personal experience, and I feel like the success of this building will be exactly that.”
On Friday, McCulloch, business owners and members of the community celebrated the opening of 22 E. Center St. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free tours.
The festivities Friday were a milestone for the building, which was originally Rocky Mountain Bell Telephone Company decades ago. After housing other tenants over time, the building ultimately became vacant. That vacancy lasted years, and over time the property became something of an eyesore for downtown Logan.
And then McCulloch’s firm decided to do something about it. They got a grant from downtown Logan to redo the facade and then went to work renovating the inside space.
Today, the 22 E. Center building is completely different, starting with its entrance, which is set back and includes a “22 East” plaque on the wall.
The inside is modern and sleek. The ground level includes Plum Floral and Kulor Salon. The top floor contains two guest rooms and space for a showroom. The basement contains another guest room.
On the roof is a glass-paneled enclosure that offers a view of the surroundings and will eventually be part of a patio.
Smithfield resident Kim Chambers, who works in downtown Logan, was one of many people who filed through the building Friday during the open house event.
“It’s beautiful; I think it’s great,” Chambers said. “That’s what downtown needs …. (something) that makes the buildings look nicer, appealing to people.”
She said she doesn’t think she noticed the building in its former state.
“Drove by it, didn’t even think about it,” Chambers said.
Shannon Lyle, the owner of Plum Floral, worked her first job inside the old building, which served as a call center known as Western Wats. She described the building back then as being “dark” and “not happy like this.”
“(Andrea) has modernized it, updated it to be a beautiful, amazing space,” Lyle said.
Lyle’s floral business used to be on Logan’s Main Street. But now, inside the 22 E. Center St. building, her business is relaunching under a new name.
“We’re a tiny space, but we’re full of gifts,” Lyle said.
Unlike Plum Floral, Kulor Salon did not exist before the building on 22 E. Center St. opened.
Linzie Sorensen, the salon’s owner, said she always enjoyed the building, and when she figured out what was happening to it, she made a phone call to Milieu Design that she was interested in moving in.
“Comfortable” and “cozy” are the words Sorensen used to describe how she wants people to feel when they walk into her salon.
“It is really modern, industrial, and I love that about it,” she said. “Milieu just did a fabulous job of creating this space for me.”
On Friday, a teary-eyed McCulloch talked about what the building has meant to her.
“It’s something that everyone has overlooked and not seen the true potential of what it could be,” she said. “You really can connect with a structure just like you can with people. I connected here.”
McCulloch said “it was not easy” to get 22 East Center in the shape that it is today.
“We’re all vested in making this a true amenity to downtown Logan,” she said.