Downtown Faribault sees change
‘I myself do not want to see any of the buildings tore down from the city of Faribault, but they are so bad that they need to be changed redeveloped.’
FARIBAULT, Minn. (KEYC) -The face of downtown Faribault has been changing rapidly, with several buildings being torn down over the past few weeks, and more to come.
For Brian Schmidt, the President of the Rice County Historical society, the progress carries a price.
“You can only judge a book by its cover and tell you really get into a building and and walk through it with somebody and really see how bad the building is,” explained Schmidt. “I, myself, do not want to see any of the buildings tore down from the city of Faribault, but they are so bad that they need to be changed redeveloped.”
Even Mayor Kevin Voracek acknowledged those concerns.
“You know buildings there’s buildings in our historic downtown that have been neglected by building owners,” admitted Voracek. “In the Columbia Movie Theater, that owner actually had a tree growing on the second floor because the owner had left the building in such dire condition.”
For Schmidt, it’s understanding the sacrifices they’re making to create a thriving city center, rather than one in stagnation.
“It’s the change in the times and people don’t like to see change a lot of people don’t but it’s happening all across the United States and is happening here in Faribault,” said Schmidt. “Unfortunately, taking down a building like this, but bringing back something new and something modern, and hopefully it’ll last for another 100 years and hope they’ll help Faribault in the long run.
Schmidt had some final words about bringing the community together.
“I want to leave a longevity statement in town anything that we can help to make the city bring in new people coming to town and new ideas; new businesses is a win-win,” explained Schmidt. “I think, for everybody, stagnation doesn’t help at all. So, if it requires one of these beautiful properties to be taken down, it’s unfortunate, but it’s gonna make the the city grow, hopefully, in the long run -- the next 50 years or something.”
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