Historic Waterville hotel to find new life

A historic building in Waterville is being renovated for a new life
Published: Feb. 27, 2023 at 3:35 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WATERVILLE, Minn. (KEYC) -Built in 1888, the Union Hotel once acted as a central hub for travelers passing through Waterville.

The building has been dormant now for several years, but a local development group is working on giving the old building a new life.

The Waterville based We Buy Houses Southern Minnesota is in the process of converting the old building into five apartment units set to open this fall, and said that the project has become an undertaking that they’re excited to see develop.

“We always wanted to do something a little bit closer to home, and this building was kind of sitting on the corner for a long time, and the owner decided that maybe, you know, it would be time to sell so he had a For Sale sign on it,” said project manager Grant Pope. “We reached out, it was kind of a big project, we weren’t sure exactly that we wanted to take it on. The more we dug into it, the more history that it showed, the more excited we got about it so we decided that this would be a good project.”

Work began last November, and workers said that it’s been a delicate balance in modernizing the building for current use while keeping its history intact.

The building is on the National Registry of Historic Places, and years of paint jobs and wallpapers still cover the walls.

Designers said that they hope to revive the history of the building while filling it with the life it’s been missing for years.

“Our design is going to have a lot to do with it. Some of the historic pictures of it, you can see the exterior paint job and the way it was painted, and we plan to kind of bring that back with the same kind of color scheme and whatnot that it was back then. Same with exposing the interior bricks and some of the old rustic kind of fixtures that will be in here kind of tie that historic building, when you’re in here you’re going to feel a little bit of a step back in time,” Pope said.