Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Flutterby
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Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby Flutterby » February 7th, 2018, 10:28 pm

Hello, everybody -- I'm a longtime reader of this forum but I've never taken the plunge to register and comment before now. I just wanted to let people know that the Fergus Falls City Council voted on Monday to begin demolition of that city's Kirkbride complex, the former Regional Treatment Center, in four (!) weeks' time. I know there have been previous discussions here of these buildings' great beauty and historic nature (at a time when there was a development proposal that has since fizzled), so I won't bore you with a rehash of that, but the Council is asking the state legislature for $8.9 million in bonding money to fund their atrocity, and as a fellow fan of beautiful buildings I urge you to contact your state representatives and tell them to vote against HF 2677 and SF 2424. There is a Facebook group called Friends of the Kirkbride Community that has been understandably very busy recently as well if you'd like more information. I wish I knew more details, but given the time crunch I thought I'd better post now. Thank you in advance for any support you're able to give -- this place is truly one of a kind and deserves to remain to inspire future generations.

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jtoemke
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby jtoemke » February 8th, 2018, 6:58 am

Flutterby wrote:
February 7th, 2018, 10:28 pm
Hello, everybody -- I'm a longtime reader of this forum but I've never taken the plunge to register and comment before now. I just wanted to let people know that the Fergus Falls City Council voted on Monday to begin demolition of that city's Kirkbride complex, the former Regional Treatment Center, in four (!) weeks' time. I know there have been previous discussions here of these buildings' great beauty and historic nature (at a time when there was a development proposal that has since fizzled), so I won't bore you with a rehash of that, but the Council is asking the state legislature for $8.9 million in bonding money to fund their atrocity, and as a fellow fan of beautiful buildings I urge you to contact your state representatives and tell them to vote against HF 2677 and SF 2424. There is a Facebook group called Friends of the Kirkbride Community that has been understandably very busy recently as well if you'd like more information. I wish I knew more details, but given the time crunch I thought I'd better post now. Thank you in advance for any support you're able to give -- this place is truly one of a kind and deserves to remain to inspire future generations.
oh my god those buildings are gorgeous

Flutterby
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby Flutterby » February 8th, 2018, 8:38 am

The only thing left standing will be the center administration building; the one with the towers. Both entire wings are scheduled to go. There is no plan for the site; they just want to knock it down to get it out of their hair, and probably sell the land to someone who will put up a bunch of corrugated sheet metal sheds or a cheap apartment building. It is so unbelievably stupid!

MNdible
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby MNdible » February 8th, 2018, 9:55 am

It's a real shame, but in the city's defense, haven't they spent a lot of time trying to find an alternate use for the buildings? It's such a huge complex that it's not an easy re-use.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » February 8th, 2018, 11:55 am

It's kind of a shame that you can't see the full height of the tower here:

Image

Flutterby
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby Flutterby » February 8th, 2018, 11:56 am

There's a lot of skepticism around town about how much they've actually worked to facilitate a redevelopment, but I'll have to let someone who's been closer to the issue comment on the details. I know the Otter Tail Co. Historical Society has been on red alert for years, but the city government, not so much.

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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby MNdible » February 8th, 2018, 12:24 pm

Image

I mean just eye-balling the complex, it looks like it would be converted to something on the order of a 500 unit apartment complex, and that's if you demo'ed out everything inside the courtyard. There's no way that the Fergus Falls could support that, right?

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby FISHMANPET » February 8th, 2018, 12:28 pm

Also living in a former mental hospital would be super creepy.

Flutterby
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby Flutterby » February 8th, 2018, 1:21 pm

It's really not creepy -- Kirkbride complexes were all about letting in light and air. This place had housing for students at the local community college (now M-State) for many years. I had friends who lived there and it was cozy. Also, tons and tons of people have stayed there for drug dependency treatment over the years and judging from their activity on the Facebook forum, plenty of them now have quite a soft spot for the place. Not to mention the raft of locals who spent careers working and making friends there. People go up there now to jog around the grounds and just gaze at it. I can't believe there is literally nothing to be gained from this space other than a level surface. Veterans' housing? Gym and spa-type stuff? State Historical Site with tours? Artists' studios? All of the above? We're also 50 minutes away from Fargo/Moorhead on I-94, so there's another population to draw from. There's another Kirkbride complex in the middle of West Virginia that someone is restoring while running tours and events, and if they can do it there I don't know why we can't. http://www.trans-alleghenylunaticasylum.com/index.html Can you tell I'm really frustrated? Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

maxbaby
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby maxbaby » February 8th, 2018, 3:58 pm

MNdible wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 12:24 pm
Image

I mean just eye-balling the complex, it looks like it would be converted to something on the order of a 500 unit apartment complex, and that's if you demo'ed out everything inside the courtyard. There's no way that the Fergus Falls could support that, right?
That place looks like it could be a resort from that picture.

Mikey
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby Mikey » February 8th, 2018, 4:17 pm

maxbaby wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 3:58 pm
MNdible wrote:
February 8th, 2018, 12:24 pm
Image

I mean just eye-balling the complex, it looks like it would be converted to something on the order of a 500 unit apartment complex, and that's if you demo'ed out everything inside the courtyard. There's no way that the Fergus Falls could support that, right?
That place looks like it could be a resort from that picture.
Yeah, if this where in Alex or DL, it'd be a no-brainer to make into a resort - just build a big golf course, etc behind it. In TRF, workforce housing and there'd be a waiting list.

We really need to develop a way to teleport buildings
Urbanist in the north woods

Thorondor
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Re: Fergus Falls Kirkbride Building Impending Demolition

Postby Thorondor » February 8th, 2018, 4:44 pm

Agreed! Such a beautiful set of buildings.


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