Bought in 2013 by Sara Muschweck and Family, the J.C. Thompson building has had many lives.
This building opened September 1, 1892. The Crosser and Ogilive Company occupied the basement, first floor and part of the second floor until 1905. Edmonston the photographer was also on the second floor. Built for J. C. Thompson, an example of the flamboyant design of the period in contrast with more restrained 20th Century neighbors, President of the First National Bank and a mercantile businessman. Thompson family, like most got his start in the booming pottery industry that once made East Liverpool a cultural center in the Ohio Valley.
Through the years the building hosted many business as well as housed guests and families. Rumored to have been a Prohibition Speak Easy and a Brothel just some of the shadier past it has held. In the basement you can still the advertisements for male stamina tonic in the bathroom of the “Bar”.
Second and third floor areas were turned into apartments , hotel room, and sleeping rooms. In the third floor of the Thompson Building you can still see the room numbers on the doors. Tattoo shop, Teen Club, Shoe repair/Store, News Paper Offices, Local Radio Station WELA, Butcher Shop, Attorney Offices, Recruiting Station, Truck Drivers Local 92 Offices, Antiques Store, Craft Store, Adult Toy Store, Storage Facility, Tax Store, and now a Paranormal Destination are just some of those lives.
The Thompson Building addresses are listed as 524 Market Street as well as 100, 102, 104 and 106 E 6th Street. Beside it we have the Lowe building 522 Market Street, with the word Lowe in concrete at the top of the third floor. The third floor was added some time after the building was originally built. Due to multiple fires the building has become somewhat a maze of stairwells and doorways.
The second floor union offices hosts not only the original Electrical Box, a blocked entry way, also the stairway to nowhere. Most of the architectural oddities of the building were caused by the fires in 1909 and 1968. The building with its stairwells and to apartment areas, closed doorways, tunnels, and atrium make a perfect maze. Getting lost in the maze is not uncommon for most who come to visit.
The building was in great disrepair when Sara and her family bought the building. With the help of volunteers they spent the first year cleaning and making repairs. Many items of value were found in the building and put aside. Unlike most restoration projects this one was started will very little funds. Sara cashed her retirement to purchase the building and from there the family and volunteers have worked to try to save this historical part of the area.
In July of 2014 the opportunity to open the building to paranormal investigators presented itself. The monies from these tours finance the ongoing repairs to the building with the hopes that more areas of the building will be open to the public.