Businessman seeks funds for restorationMitchell businessman Jeff Logan has a grand vision for what he considers an architectural treasure at 110 E. Second Ave. He wants to restore the downtown building to its former glory, with the help of state and local grants that he hopes to receive.
By: Seth Tupper, The Daily Republic
Mitchell businessman Jeff Logan has a grand vision for what he considers an architectural treasure at 110 E. Second Ave.
He wants to restore the downtown building to its former glory, with the help of state and local grants that he hopes to receive.
The building, which originally served as a bank, was described in 1967 as “the best building architecturally in Mitchell.”
“It reflects a significant style, blending function, ornament, proportion and space into a revealing artistic experience,” Milt Kudlacek was quoted as saying in a 1967 Daily Republic story. Kudlacek was the head of the Dakota Wesleyan University Fine Arts Department.
Logan dug up the Kudlacek quote for an application to the state Deadwood Fund, which issues grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 for historic restoration projects. The fund gets its money from Deadwood gambling revenues.
Logan also plans to apply for a $10,000, interest-free loan from a local façade-improvement program managed by the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce and Mitchell Area Development Corporation, in conjunction with local banks and the Mitchell Historic Preservation Commission.
It was at Wednesday’s meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission at City Hall that Logan, who’s known primarily for owning Logan Luxury Theatres, announced his intentions. Logan is a member of the commission, but he stepped outside that role to speak to the commission as a grant applicant.
His plans were prompted by the recent departure of the building’s tenant.
“Rather than rent it in the shape it’s in now,” Logan said, he decided to attempt a renovation that he thinks could make the building “a premier office space not only in Mitchell, but in the state.” Most recently, the building was home to a beauty salon.
The major focus of the renovation effort would include the restoration of a 36-foot-wide stained-glass window transom on the front of the building, and the removal of a drop ceiling that conceals a mezzanine level.
The drop-ceiling was installed during the 1960s for energy efficiency. The stainedglass windows were covered with plywood panels during the 1970s to keep them from collapsing, and the panels remain in place.
“It destroyed the entire feeling of the building and all the aesthetics of it,” Logan said.
According to Logan’s Deadwood Fund application, the building was built by Logan’s grandfather, George E. Logan, for Otis L. Branson, a Mitchell banker and state legislator. The design was by the Minneapolis architectural firm Purcell and Elmslie.
The legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright visited the building during the 1930s, according to Logan. “Wright had spotted the building and stopped in to inquire who the architect was and ask a few other questions,” Logan wrote in his Deadwood Fund application.
Logan thinks the building can be restored to the jewel that caught Wright’s eye.
“We have to make a leap of faith, and we have to say, ‘Let’s fix it up,’ ” Logan said. “And then, hopefully, that tenant will come.”