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Downtown building has hosted variety of business types

The storefront at 207 South Third Street has features really seen in downtown Ironton, like a mezzanine and a third floor that was once used for a roller rink.

Built in the 1920s, the three-story building was once a women’s clothing store called Gabler’s Department Store, which went out of business in the 1970s.

“It was a real popular place in the 1940s and 1950s,” said Sam Heighton, the executive director of Ironton aLive, an organization dedicated to bringing commercial development to Ironton. “It’s where all the ladies in town bought their clothing. It was very popular.”

Heighton feels the biggest selling point of the building is its location.

“That, and I think the history of the building,” he said. “I think it would be a great place to put in another ladies store, plenty of storage.”

The building has 5,800 square feet of space.

“It’s about 40-feet wide and 120-feet deep,” Heighton said. “It’s a well-built building. It was built to last.”

The original metal ceilings are still there, although, at some point, a drop ceiling was put in.

The first floor was the store and toward the back is the mezzanine, which was also used for clothing sales.

“It’s where all the girls bought their prom dresses,” Heighton said.

At the front is the area that used to be the office. The windows are painted over now but it was once possible to watch the whole store from the second story space.

“It’s got a low ceiling but they managed to squeeze it in between the first and second floors,” Heighton said.

Parts of the pneumatic tube system are still visible on the ceiling. The system is similar to the one still used at drive-in banks. Heighton said that cashiers would take the money from customers and then put it in the tubes and someone in the office would make change and send it back down.

The building has housed a number of businesses, including a recording studio at one time that occupied the mezzanine.

The third floor was used for storage by Gabler’s and, like many buildings built in the early part of the 20th Century, has hardwood floors that are still in good shape for its age.

“Later, after Gabler’s had closed, somebody leased the building and put in a roller rink up here on the third floor,” Heighton said. “It was a nice rink.”