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Furlow will undergo restoration

The new owners have plans for the 1926 apartment building.

Black Swan Rentals
The Furlow building is seen Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Rochester. Furlow was recently purchased by Black Swan Real Estate.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin
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It’s about 0 degrees but Nick Stageberg is content to stand outside examining the facade of the Furlow Apartment Building.

“There are just so many details,” he said.

Stageberg is co-owner of Black Swan Living Property Management which last month acquired the 1926 Furlow at 508 Fourth St. SW.

Black Swan Rentals
The original kitchen is seen in a Furlow Building apartment unit Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Rochester. Furlow was recently purchased by Black Swan Real Estate.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Arches emphasize the windows and bricks create textures and patterns. It’s so ornate that its exterior influenced aesthetic features in neighboring Hamilton Apartments built in 2010, which Black Swan also acquired.

When it was constructed in 1926, the Furlow was high-end living accommodations.

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Today, the interior of the Furlow needs work. A grand wooden staircase that once served tenants was replaced with a steel and concrete one. Each of the 22 units is in various states of repair.

Stageberg plans to renovate all the apartments and restore much of the historic character to the building.

He points to the hardwood floors and built-in cabinets in the kitchen. In one apartment, a tenant stripped the paint from the cabinet and refinished the wood underneath it.

Most of the apartments have the original kitchen fixtures, including an ice box. "Ice doors" for delivery line the hallways.

Black Swan Rentals
Original milk and ice delivery doors are seen in the hallway of a Furlow Building apartment Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Rochester. Furlow was recently purchased by Black Swan Real Estate.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Overhead, the ceiling has at least two layers between what you see now and the original, Stageberg said.

"It’s always an archaeological expedition going through buildings like this,” he said.

Black Swan Rentals
A milk delivery door is seen in the kitchen of a Furlow Building apartment Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, in Rochester. Furlow was recently purchased by Black Swan Real Estate.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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