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The board approved the demolition of the seven properties on Augh. 27, 2022. Demolition began Nov. 7 and took about two weeks to complete.
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Rice County's Board of Commissioners acquired most of the eight properties intending to use the land for a jail expansion.
Once the board decided not to use the properties for a jail expansion, it needed to consider what it envisioned for the block, a gateway to Faribault’s historic downtown.
The buildings, anywhere from 65 to 120 years old, had a variety of issues, including outdated mechanical systems and structural problems, common with structures of that age.
A community park is planned for the parcel immediately north of the Friendship House on First Avenue.
Hanson, believed to be the nation’s first architect and a Minnesota School for the Deaf alumni, designed several Faribault buildings, some of which still stand. While nothing has been decided, some recognition of Hanson’s contributions may be included in the park planned for First Avenue.
There have been informal discussions about recreating the mural painted on the Klemer Building at 129 Fourth St., though no decision has been made. The Sellner/Tilt-a-Whirl mural on the 119 Fourth St. was done on panels attached to the building. It was removed and has been relocated to the rear exterior wall of the Paradise Center for the Arts on Central Avenue.