Here's an interesting story about reusing historic buildings. I know a little about this. After all, my Chicago office is in a converted power station that was landmarked recently. The tax work is excruciating and you better make sure you have the right team in place. And work with your landmarks preservation people; will you preserve the whole building or the facade? In short, this is NOT a deal for the amateur to take on, regardless of how "cheap" the building might be. There's a good deal of risk involved. But it is a great feeling to come out on top and see a great old structure preserved.