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Living in history

An old bank vault in the LaFayette Apartments building now serves as a game room for residents. Seb Foltz/Butler Eagle
Residents of LaFayette experience unique downtown living situation

Kay Roxbury now puts together 1,000-piece puzzles inside the vault where her father took her to the bank when she was a teenager.

The safe always remains open now in the Historic LaFayette Apartments, where Roxbury has lived since 2015 — relocating from Parker Township to downtown Butler where she can get around easier. The building, which once housed the Butler County National Bank and the Butler branch of Mellon Bank, resurfaced memories in Roxbury when she first moved in.

“It was like ‘Wow, I have been in this building before,’” Roxbury said. “It's close to the bank, post office — my son he lives up on the hill by the cemetery. I don't drive anymore, so it's really nice to have everything close.”

Although the LaFayette building hasn’t been used as a bank since 1977, it still retains many of its key features, including multiple safes that have been turned into entertainment rooms, and even the teller area, which now serves as one of the main lobbies for apartment dwellers.

The county Housing and Redevelopment Authorities own and maintain the LaFayette, and its property manager, Cindy Wehner, of the housing authority, said it is one of the agency’s most in-demand properties.

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