State preservation office to city: Don’t build, or at least dress up, pole barn in historic area

I reported today that the State Historic Preservation Office disapproves of the city of Mitchell’s plan to build a pole-barn storage shed for the Public Safety Department in the city parking lot south of the Navin Apartments.

The site of the proposed building is within the Historic Commercial District, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. State law requires a review by the State Historic Preservation Office prior to any governmental action — such as the issuance of a building permit for this pole barn — that could impact the overall visual appearance of a historic district on the national and state registers.

The state office says that if the city is going to go ahead and build the pole barn, the building should at least have a flat roof and brick siding in order to blend better with the historic buildings in the district.

As we’ve seen in the past with the Holy Family school building, DWU’s Graham Hall and the new electronic sign on the front of the Corn Palace, historic preservation laws rarely stop progress and often fail to make any kind of impact whatsoever.

It’ll be interesting to see if the state office’s objections to this building get dismissed, or if the city makes some concessions.

What do you think the city should do?

11 thoughts on “State preservation office to city: Don’t build, or at least dress up, pole barn in historic area

  1. yep I am going to weigh in on this one again, just like the signage at the CP. Seems like the city does not understand the need for public input- this last minute decision making? The sign issue- was schuffled from one committee to another with little prior notification. Yes I did file a formal complaint with the open meetings commission. The invasive non-historical issues have already been occurring- the 3rd street market neon’s sign on the old telephone building- yep another no-no, the refurbishing of buildings on East 2nd alley way and North Lawler- they just tinned them up- this looks shabby. I fault our mayor here and his dictatorial policies- the last good mayor we had was Bud Williams- he cared about historical preservation. Lou you do not have a clue. By the way the historical preservation meeting is at noon on this Tuesday- how many citizens that work regular jobs will be there to attend. We have to go the extra mile to ensure that democracy works and is accessible.

  2. Does Mitchell not have one person on council with any taste. Come on council and mayor, we should want to enhance our main street not put up a storage shed. Why don’t they build the shed on their property by the bypass. To me this shows that the mayor and city council don’t really care about main street.

  3. UPDATE: The local Historic Preservation Commission met today and discussed this issue with Public Safety Chief Lyndon Overweg. Nothing new came up. Overweg said he’d check into the cost of making the proposed shed look more like other buildings in the Historic District. No decisions were made.

  4. Ron F is absolutely right. I shutter to think of another eyesore in the historic district. I don’t understand why the city leaders can never seem to listen. Obviously, they think they know it all. Wouldn’t it be nice if they did, but CLEARLY they don’t. The tacky CP sign is just one more bad eaxmple of their decision making ability. If the mayor and city council governed Rome the coliseum would have been gone long ago and replaced with a water slide!

  5. I don’t understand why this city doesn’t care about beautification. While most cities are working on improving main street, Mitchell wants to put up an ugly pole barn! I sometimes wonder if anyone on city council ever leaves this town to see what other towns are doing. Brookings, for example, has just completely renovated its downtown/main street and it is beautiful.

  6. newspaper article today lists a Friday meeting for the preservation committee at the library ? well I went to the last one- 3 members of the committee- I suppose that is half their number- the mayor- myself and two media personel- now that stinks- if you care? if you care? see ya at the library on Friday

  7. probably by Sat edition we will see the results- historical preservation commission of Mitchell – says- no- revamp your plans Lou- we don’t need a metal shed on main street. Keep it up and we may have to look into recalling you from your term under malfeasance.

  8. Whow – this City, County, and School District have a heck of alot more important issues to tackle than a damn steel building on Main Street!

    Take a close look at upper facial & side views, plus the back sides of the vast majority of the 100+ year old buildings on Mitchell’s Main Street. The vast majority all need to be covered up with steel or lowered to one-story buildings.

    The vast majority of these structures need to be bull dozed. Suggest the City consult with Supt Joe Graves who is becoming a demolishing expert (Middle Schooo pool, Longfellow School, Joe Quintal Stadium).

    How about bull dozing all of Main Street from First to Fourth Ave? Require all new Main Street buildings from First to Fourth Ave to be all steel buildings like the one the City wants to build at the south end of Main Street? Doing so would help future generations avoid this current petty debate!

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