By Sarrah Peters, News Editor
Downtown Attalla is well known for its stores full of antiques. It is less known for its loft apartments, but that may change soon.
Ron Catoe bought a loft in downtown Attalla in 2006 or 2007. He worked on the building for about a year before it was finished.
Catoe moved to the area to be near his father, who lived in Rainbow City before he passed away.
Catoe remade the area into a beutiful loft space using repurposed items.
“Everything’s been somewhere,” said Catoe, gesturing to an oddly shaped light blue table. “This was a piano somebody found on the side of the road.”
The list of repurposed items goes on and on. Catoe works as a subcontractor that refurbishes restaurants. While walking around the rooms, he pointed out a bar from an Arby’s, lights from a Starbucks, shelves from a hair salon and windows from a Dairy Queen.
Catoe was told that the building used to be a saloon downstairs and a brothel upstairs. There is a passage between the salon out front, The Lockbox, owned by Catoe’s son, and the loft, in the back of the building and upstairs.
Despite bringing in many items to fix up the apartment, Catoe also recognized the beauty that was already present. Despite the ceiling caving in upstairs, he put it back up, after putting insulation in. He relaid the original flooring to give the loft a “warehouse look.” He also left the brick walls exposed.
The apartment has an eclectic look, where every item is unique, though Catoe gives his wife credit for decorating the area.
The City of Attalla is hoping to use Catoe’s skills to redo more apartments downtown, which the city will then rent out.