From the outside, Bryan Place in Zanesville looks like a large, old building. White columns and archways support its brick exterior and multitude of windows. But behind the black, iron fence and through the trees and flowers is a seemingly out-of-place sign that teases Sunday brunch, furniture sale and an occasional comedy show.
That’s what makes Bryan Place so special. The building previously served as The YWCA of Zanesville from 1926 to 1993. During that time, many young women called one of the 36 rooms on the second and third floors of the building home during the week.
“They would come to town and they would work or they would go to the Meredith Business College over here or the Ohio Bell next door,” Carol Bryan, owner and lead designer of Bryan Place says. “… They lived here and their parents would come and get them and take them home for the weekend.”
The YWCA merged with the YMCA in 1993 and left the location, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. But the property wasn’t vacant for long: it became Bryan Place that same year. It now hosts various events including:
- Luncheons and dinners
- Receptions and weddings
- Club meetings
- Comedy shows
Its weekly dining hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., but other events are held outside those hours. In addition, the building stocks for-sale furniture in the old bedrooms.
Bryan owns both Bryan Place and Bryan’s Furniture Interiors and decided to use the extra space to stock furniture for the company. When potential customers go to Bryan’s Furniture Interiors on Dresden Road, the staff sends them down to Bryan Place to view its dining rooms, living rooms and adult and child bedrooms.
The most picturesque part of the former YWCA, even with the perfectly furnished rooms upstairs, is the dining space that formerly served as the gym. Several years ago, Bryan no longer wanted the room to look like a gymnasium, so she decided to renovate it. Bryan says she intended to have the walls resemble traditional Zanesville buildings, and the idea eventually evolved into what it is now.
“I just found the old stuff, just old architectural things, and we tried to make it into little houses and make it look like the courtyard,” she says.
Bryan’s history with flipping houses came in handy during the gymnasium renovation. Her 40 years of experience allowed her to appreciate the antique pieces she repurposed to make up the house facades that line the walls of the former recreational space. Bryan remembers the story behind each exterior feature.
“The old garage barn door came from an auction down the street,” she says as she points to an individual piece in the room. “This building over here was from a house that was kind of behind this; they tore the house down, and I’m over there salvaging the front door and the windows. And the stuff from the shutters up there came from an old house up on the river.”
Someone could wander around Zanesville to get the same feeling one would get in the indoor courtyard, but why not sit, enjoy a comedy show, a good meal and maybe take home a sofa all in one place?
Bryan Place is open 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays for lunch, and until 5 p.m. for furniture sales at 49 North 6th Street. Visit the location, Bryan’s Furniture site or call (740) 450-8008 for more information.