Putting several old La Crosse buildings on a “most endangered” list didn’t prevent some from being demolished this year.
The Club Tucan on 3rd Street, which has been torn down this month, was one of the properties on the list compiled by the Heritage Preservation Commission. The commission is now studying suggestions for a new Top 10 endangered list.
City planning specialist Tim Acklin says the list might include the Casino Bar downtown, on Pearl.
“It hasn’t been fixed yet, since it caught on fire,” says Acklin, “and there’s a concern about whether the current owners have the capability of doing that.”
The Gillette Street fire station, mentioned on this year’s list, has been saved from possible demolition for now.
City council member Mackenzie Mindel, who also serves on the heritage preservation commission, says La Crosse could lose some of its distinctive charm if too many old buildings are demolished.
“I feel like that would change my experience of La Crosse,” she says, “’cause once those buildings go, all of a sudden, it will be…new development, and everything will look the same. And suddenly La Crosse will not look like it once did.”
Mindel mentioned long-gone buildings which locals still remember fondly, such as the old post office at 4th and State, demolished in the 1970s when the current post office was built.
Buildings formerly used as gas stations, churches, and grocery stores are being recommended for inclusion on the new historic list.