Business and Building owners were recognized for the work they do and have done to preserve and restore their buildings to original glory.
The Waseca Historical Preservation Commission held an awards ceremony Monday, June 3 at The Mill Event Center. City Council member and HPC Chair Les Tlougan read off each award, which was then presented to the business or building owner by Mayor Roy Srp.
“Our goal is to give our people recognition for the work done on the buildings,” Tlougan said.
There were two types of awards given out at the meeting — a community preservation award, which doesn’t mean the owners brought it back to original structure, but it recognizes the owners for maintaining the building, keeping its historical integrity, and helping it to not fall down. The historical preservation award, meanwhile, is given when the historic building is specifically maintained to look the same.
The Ward House Brewery received the community preservation award, accepted by owner John Mansfield. The now brewery used to be the location of a hamburger shop and was built in 1927. There was an expansion in 1947 so the building is now butt-up against the business Personalized Printing.
“I’m very honored to be recognized, I hope to keep the historic downtown businesses going,” Mansfield said of the award.
Pic A Dilly Boutique was the next business to receive the community preservation award. Business owner Jill Sollin-Strauss and building owner Jay Jellum were present to receive the award for their work.
Originally this location was two separate buildings on North State Street that were constructed in 1884 and 1894. The two buildings were combined in 1966.
“We’re trying to keep the city alive and create places people want and to enjoy Waseca,” Sollin-Strauss said. “We’re (business owners) doing what we can to get Waseca on the map.”
The Mill Event Center was given the final community preservation award for the year. Joe and his son, Jim Hoehn, were present to accept the award.
The initial building was built in 1883 and went through the hands of a few owners before the Hoehns bought the building in 2017. It is now an event center with a space inside that has been used for pop-up shops, among other things.
The Waseca County Courthouse received the historical preservation award for the work done to it. County Administrator Jessica Beyer, County Commissioner DeAnne Malterer and the county Building and Grounds Supervisor Brian Tomford were present to accept the award.
“The (HPC) wanted to see it kept as it was, and they did a very good job and are going to keep that building standing for another 100 years,” Tlougan said.
The historic building was built in 1897 and was in need of reinforcing for eroding brick and mortar areas along with other renovations. Some of the renovations the courthouse saw were new windows that closely align to the historic look and work done to the bell tower. Construction crews cleaned and exposed additional limestone foundation on the building’s northeast corner, which was well-preserved and brings a new look.
“Thank you for all the hard work,” Srp said to all of the business owners.
The final award presented at the Monday meeting was the Mayor’s Choice, which was Clear Lake Bath House.
Waseca purchased the land for Clear Lake Park in 1928, and in 1930, it was created as an official park. The HPC doesn’t know when the original bath house was built, but it was there before the park was created as early as 1895.
“The interesting thing, I’ve been asked to pick out several Mayor’s Choice awards; we were running out of things. I was at a family reunion and looked at the bath house and thought ‘What that was all about,”’ Srp said about why he chose the bath house. “Think about the weather that building has seen over the years and what else it has seen. It’s a pretty cool building.”
The new bath house was built in 1933 with a grand opening that had the Waseca Municipal Band performing. There was a men’s and a women’s changing room and concession in the building at that time. There have been at least two additions to the building, with one in 1938 and the second addition between 1960-1968.
“Roy, thank you for bringing this one up; it was fun digging into it,” Tlougan said. “It’s interesting that something like the bath house would have that much written about it.”