The historic Kitselman House won't be a normal home for much longer.
Parlour Salon, a beauty salon based in Muncie, received permission from the zoning board to move its business into the 102-year-old mansion on Jan. 26.
The salon intends to utilize the 31-room house by creating a spa, wellness center and event and office space.
Parlour applied for a variance to own the house because it is in a residential neighborhood. This means that businesses can’t operate in that area without permission of the zoning board.
In the application, Parlour said the Kitselman house will be "maintained and designed with the utmost respect for the church as well as the historical significance of the property.”
According to the application, the previous owners, Hazelwood Christian Church, couldn’t afford to keep up with renovations.
"The intended future use for the space would preserve the historic facade of the home and provide a small, quiet, neighborhood-friendly business that would benefit the community and surrounding neighbors," Parlour owners said in the application.
While some people are hesitant about the new ownership, there has also been an overwhelming amount of support for it.
“This is a very important historic structure both to our neighborhood and the city of Muncie,” said Bill Morgan, former president and now treasurer of the Riverside-Normal City Neighborhood Association. "Unfortunately, the church has just been really struggling to try and take care of the house. We’re excited to have new owners, new incentive and hopefully some new funding sources now, as well.”
Another supporter of the change in ownership, Sara Shade, is both a patron of the salon and a neighbor to the Kitselman house.
“I know both of the owners, and I think they’re going to be an asset to the neighborhood,” Shade said. “It’ll be great for Muncie in general to keep the property in place.”
Maintenance and restoration for the exterior of the house will begin in the spring.