The Legends site’s links to the past are showcased as the city reflects on future options

“I think we have the basic elements of a building that deserves to be preserved,” said Nancy Bergner, a member of the Heritage Preservation Commission, on Wednesday in a nearly two-hour discussion that led to a 6: 1 vote in favor of the Rochester City Council recommendation. consider the location of Southeast Fourth Street along the west bank of the Zumbro River as historic properties worthy of special protection.

RELATED: Could The Legends Site Be Considered A Local Landmark?

The move stems from a landmark appointment made on February 5 by Rochester resident Kevin Lund who cited the building’s construction in the 1930s as a Red Owl grocery store and Time Theater.

Lund’s appointment follows a Rochester City Council vote to support the potential demolition of the buildings to make way for future development.

Here are some things to know about the site and the decision:

1. The site’s historical significance predates the Red Owl and Time Theater

Both buildings were developed with help from the Mayo Properties Association on the site of an old mill, which has its roots in the settlement that would become Rochester along the Zumbro River. The mill was purchased by Mayo Properties from Rochester Milling Co. in 1930.

Molly Patterson-Lungren, the town’s heritage preservation and town planning coordinator, said the mill site and history could be marked as town-owned property is developed.

2. The commission’s decision is only a recommendation

The Heritage Preservation Commission is a voluntary advisory body, whose members are appointed to represent the community and make recommendations to Rochester City Council.

The Board will take the recommendation into account in its future decision, but is not bound by it.

As an example, in 2018 the committee voted 6-4 to recommend naming the Old Carlton Hotel as a landmark, but the council rejected the recommendation, paving the way for the building to be demolished in the future. northeast corner of West Center Street and First Avenue.

3. Few of Rochester’s sites are protected with monument status

The city has named 13 official monuments, all of which are properties also listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The are Balfour House, 427 Sixth Ave SW; Chateau Theater, 15 First St. NW; Hamilton Music Company / Avalon Hotel, 301 North Broadway Ave .; Plummer Building, 110-15 Second Ave SW; Plummer House, 1091 Plummer Lane; Rochester Armory 121 North Broadway Avenue; Mitchell; Student Center – Mayo Medical School, 226 Second St. SW; Timothy A. Whiting House, 225 First Ave. NO; Toogood Barns, 615 16th St. SW; William J. Mayo House. 701 Fourth Street SW; Stoppel farm. 1195 West Circle Drive SW; Conley Camera Factory / Bleu Duck, 14 Fourth St. SW; and Plummer Caretaker’s Cottage, 933 11th St SW.

The commission also proposed landmark status for the former Olmsted Olmsted Bank and Trust building, 7 Second St. SW, and a proposed downtown historic shopping district, but city council has not taken any action. final decision on these recommendations.

4. The city creates plans for the site along the Zumbro River

The Old Legends Building sits on a portion of nearly 2.5 acres of city-owned land that is under consideration for redevelopment.

City officials see the site as part of a larger cultural triangle, which includes the Rochester Public Library, the Mayo Civic Center, the city and county government center, and the historic shops of Third Street Southeast and Broadway Avenue.

To determine the potential use of the property, which includes the parking lot and public parking ramp north of Legends, City Council will be asked on Monday to approve a $ 195,000 contract with Gamble Associates to lead community engagement and create a small area plan showing the concepts for possible development.

5. Rochester City Council has several related decisions to make

The council is expected to consider the commission’s recommendation for historic status on Oct. 18.

Even though the site is not considered a landmark, Patterson-Lungren said city staff are considering short-term preservation options, which would allow the buildings to be considered as part of the small plan. area. The committee expressed support for this as a backup option on Wednesday.

The proposed plan for all of the small areas is expected to be presented to council as early as June, if the contract is approved on Monday.

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