Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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Historic Eau Claire home likely to be razed

No one advancing viable plans to relocate Adin Randall house

  • sk-Randall-House-1a-080417

    526/528 Menomonie Street

    Contributed photo

No one has come forward with workable plans to move a historic home on Menomonie Street once occupied by Adin Randall, meaning the home will likely be razed to make room for a housing development there.

The city’s Landmarks Commission agreed last year that the home at 526 Menomonie St. was not in good enough condition to remove it. Recently, the Eau Claire Historic Preservation Foundation came to the same conclusion, said senior city planner Pat Ivory. 

“It’s unfortunate, but at this point we don’t see it’s a viable effort to try and relocate that building,” Ivory said.

Randall, the namesake of the Randall Park neighborhood, was Eau Claire County’s first treasurer and an early settler of the city.

Ivory said there aren’t many historic features in the home anymore compared with when it was originally owned. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but it’s not listed on a local register, a choice made by the home’s owner in the 1990s.

That means the property owner isn’t bound by statutes limiting what can be done with the property.

The historic home’s future became a public issue after local developer John Mogensen unveiled plans to the city to remove all buildings on the 500 block of Menomonie Street and replace them with new housing. 

Mogensen offered to donate the Randall home to an organization interested in moving it to a new location as an alternative to razing it. 

He wanted to provide plenty of time for potential organizations or neighbors to come forward with an option to save it. 

“I wanted to give the city a heads-up in advance,” he said. “If anyone wanted to save it we would work with them.”

Others interested in preserving the home surveyed its historic value and its ability to withstand a move and decided against it.

The home will be razed before development gets underway in that area, though Mogensen said that might not be for another two or three years.

He wasn’t surprised that the home hasn’t found a savior willing to take on the cost to move it.

“There’s nothing about the house that makes it unique,”he said, noting the only quality that makes it historic is thefact that Randall once lived there. 

Contact: 715-833-9206,elizabeth.dohms@ecpc.com, @EDohms_LT on Twitter


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