A local developer’s plans to overhaul an entire block along Menomonie Street in Eau Claire could be postponed by a landmark building on the site.
The city’s Landmarks Commission on Monday will discuss John Mogensen’s request to remove all buildings on the 500 block of Menomonie Street — including the historic Adin Randall house — and replace them with new ones.
In a letter to the city’s planning department, Mogensen offered to donate the former home of the philanthropist and politician to an organization that would move it to a new location.
Randall was Eau Claire County’s first treasurer and one of the city’s first settlers, according to the National Register of Historic Places. He encouraged the city’s lumber boom by promoting the city and its resources.
His home, built in an upright and wing style, is two stories with a front-gabled main section and side-gabled wing that forms an L-shape in the home’s interior, according to a brochure on architecture styles produced by the Eau Claire Landmarks Commission.
The register shows the home being built in 1862.
The Landmarks Commission, Historic Preservation Foundation and Randall Park Neighborhood Association expressed interest in preserving the property, according to a letter to Mogensen from senior planner Patrick Ivory.
“These organizations are currently looking to see if there are any available lots in the vicinity and then obtaining estimates to move the structure,” the letter states.
Mogensen wrote that he could give the Historic Preservation Foundation up to a year to come up with a plan for the project, after which he would move forward with possible demolition.
Ivory said Thursday that while the Randall home, at 526 Menomonie St., is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it’s not listed on a local register, a choice made by the home’s owner in the 1990s.
That means Mogensen is bound by no state or city statutes that might limit what he can do with the property.
Still, Ivory said Mogensen recognizes the building is historic.
“He’s giving the city or community an opportunity to see if there would be a way of the community wanting to move the building to another site,” Ivory said.
It wouldn’t be the first time a historic home has been moved, Ivory said.
The Ager House, at one point owned by famed author and editor Waldemar Ager, was moved from its original location at the corner of Chestnut and Whipple streets to West Madison Street after Luther Hospital needed space to expand in 1993.
Mogensen states in his letter that he will arrange for organizations to view the property and gather an estimate to move the home. He states the property has no value historically aside from once being the home of Randall and noted the “poorly built structure” could be difficult to move.
Asked if he had property that could be donated to house Randall’s former home, Mogensen responded he has no lots available for that purpose.
Mogensen owns all properties on that block of Menomonie Street. While Mogensen’s letter referenced new development on the Menomonie Street side of the block, Ivory said no plans have yet been submitted to the city.
Mogensen, who recently developed a building along Water Street, part of which was bought by Blugold Real Estate Foundation to house 200 UW-Eau Claire students, couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.
Contact: 715-833-9206, firstname.lastname@example.org, @EDohms_LT on Twitter
EAU CLAIRE LANDMARKS COMMISSION »Meets at 4:30 p.m. Monday in the North Conference Room of City Hall, 203 S. Farwell St.