Rochester – Do You Really Need To Tear Down the Legends Building?
On a 4-3 vote Wednesday, the Rochester City Council approved a staff request to demolish the former Labor Temple building that has housed the Legends bar for several years. Its past includes the former Time Theater, a popular restaurant and the home of local labor organizations. (READ MORE City Council News)
I'm hoping enough noise could help at least delay the demolition, however, that space is wanted for development, which is why the city owns it in the first place. Not much stands in the way of progress in any city or state.
The city bought the site in 2013 with an eye on future development as the purchase gave it ownership of all the property along the river between 2nd and 4th streets SE.
A proposal called the "Bloom" project surfaced several years ago but came to an official end in Feb. 2019.
According to the discussion last night, the building has some expensive code issues...and has been targeted for tear down since it was purchased.
In the short term, the site will be turned into public “green space.” In the long term, the city is expected to seek proposals to develop the site that could include a connection to expected changes in the area of the nearby former AMPI plant.
I said all that so I could say this...
Does it really need to be torn down? I'm not asking from an historical perspective, though those arguments can and have been made by people that know more than me. I'm asking from a "a city with a mix of old and new is a city with character" perspective.
A lot of downtown Rochester, Minnesota ,is new, some of it is old. I don't want the depth of character left to continue to erode. I also don't want to stop development, but do the two need to be mutually exclusive?
I lived in Fargo, ND for a few years and was very impressed by their downtown, where the mixture of old and new work together nicely. I'm especially fond of The Fargo, a wonderful showplace in the community (and active business...at least until the pandemic).
Quick Look at the Fargo Theater
I'm working on a history of the building and what it housed after Time Theater shut down in the 80's...stay tuned for more. But until then, how 'bout turning it back into a movie theater and having the development take that into account when they design? What ideas do you have?
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What the heck?