Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Long-neglected terra cotta architectural treasure on West Mifflin Street: Repair it or raze it?

Photos by Retiring Guy

City seeks repairs on Downtown buildings as owner pursues demolition.  (Madison.com, 7/12/2019)
The strip of buildings, acquired by Hovde more than 20 years ago and long held vacant for redevelopment, have made the area uninviting as a pedestrian thoroughfare, especially at night. The buildings are near areas at the top of State Street plagued by negative and criminal behavior. “ 
They’re at the end of their life,” said Randy Guenther, Hovde’s chief operating and financial officer. “Now is the time to take the buildings down." 
The buildings, built in 1923, are part of a prime Downtown intersection that features the $205 million Overture Center, the renovated Central Library, and W. Jerome Frautschi’s $11.6 million redevelopment on the 100 blocks of State and West Mifflin streets that brought new storefronts, restaurant and office space in a mix of new construction and historic preservation.

The reporter refers to this grouping as "four nearly century-old buildings", but it appears to Retiring Guy to be a single building with four storefronts.

1930 and 1973 photos from the Wisconsin Historical Society collection.

One of three 1947 interior photos of the Olympic Restaurant and Bar at 125 West Mifflin.

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