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Potential landmark list meets with calls for more

John Kruesel

A list of 65 Rochester properties were deemed potential landmarks Wednesday, but the move came with the question of what's next.

Several residents called for increased effort to develop a downtown historic district to protect some buildings amid increased development activity.

"Let's concentrate at the area of downtown Rochester that is most at risk," business owner John Kruesel said. "Let's forget the other areas that are less at risk. We need a downtown historic district that we agree upon so there is a review process."

Assistant City Administrator Aaron Reeves said he expects the city's Heritage Preservation Commission will discuss creating a downtown historic district after hiring a consultant to review specific properties, which could happen during its meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday in room 104 of City Hall.

The commission last met on Dec. 29, and Reeves said he anticipates members will set its priorities following the adoption of the city's new heritage preservation ordinance.


He also noted downtown property owners don't need to wait.

"Any of those property owners are welcome to bring their properties forward for designation if they wish, and we can review them individually, if there is concern the district won't get done in time," Reeves said.

In addition to any new properties submitted for consideration as potential landmark properties, the commission also will be reviewing the standing of properties requested to be pulled from the list prior to Wednesday's meeting.

"They are going to take the higher priority ones and go down the list," Reeves said of the commission members.


Landmark properties

In addition to a list of potential landmarks, the Rochester City Council approved a list of 13 properties considered landmarks under the heritage preservation ordinance. 

The properties, which were already on the National Register of Historic Places, are: 


• The Dr. Donald C. Balfour House, 427 Sixth Ave. SW

• Chateau Theatre, 15 First St. NW

• Former Avalon Hotel, 301 N. Broadway Ave.

• Plummer Building, 110-15 Second Ave. SW

• Henry S. Plummer House, 1091 Plummer Lane

• Rochester Armory, 121 N. Broadway Ave. 

• Former Rochester Public Library, Mitchell Student Center - Mayo Medical School, 226 Second St. SW

• Timothy A. Whiting House, 225 First Ave. NW


• Toogood Barns, 615 16th St. SW

• William J. Mayo House, 701 Fourth St. SW

• Stoppel Farmstead, 1195 West Circle Drive SW

• Conley Camera Factory, 14 Fourth St. SW

• Plummer Caretaker's Cottage, 933 11th St. SW

Aaron S. Reeves

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