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Letter to the Editor: Wellington Place North Building

Posted: Tue, Mar 5, 2013 4:12 PM

To say the least I am very disappointed the decision has been made to demolish the North Building located on the site of the former County Home. Not only are we destroying Winneshiek County history, but we are also throwing away valuable resources. Winneshiek County has a wonderful program for recycling plastics, aluminum, paper and cardboard, but no vision for recycling buildings!

When I toured the building in 2007, I marveled at how well the building was built. After more than a hundred years the roof line was still straight as an arrow and the thick basement walls still stood strong and tall. The deep window sills told me the outer walls were several layers thick.

The difference between how buildings were built in the past and the way buildings are built today has always amazed me.  There is the North Building still standing tall and proud while the foundation of Decorah's City Hall - only a little over fifty years old is sinking.

But obviously the majority of the people in Winneshiek County do not feel as I do about the North Building and in the United States we follow the decision of the majority.

But before we move on I want to point out one additional fact. Yes, in the end the Board of Supervisors voted to demolish the building, but long before the final vote the Board of Supervisor asked the Winneshiek County Historical Society if they were interested in using the building!!! The WCHS declined their offer. That was in 2007. 

As long as an organization whose mission is to preserve Winneshiek County history makes no effort to preserve a historic building such as the North Building, I doubt we will see much of anything preserved in Winneshiek County.   

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