What does being on the endangered list do for the community or the Hall of Waters?
Being on the the 11 Most Endangered Properties list will bring national attention to a building that we know is beautiful, historic and worthy of restoration and we are hopeful that it elevates this project in the minds of preservationists and along the way has others thinking of ways we can better utilize the building.
Would the City ever sell the building?
Well, they say you should never say never. We believe that this building belongs to our citizens and we have to weigh every proposal against what it provides for the restoration of the building and the continued use of the building which would allow the public access.
What happens if no one steps forward to assist?
As a community, we will continue caring for the building to the best of our ability. We will look for new and unusual opportunity or grants that can assist us. This building is our connection to our past and we have an obligation to make sure it is here for future generations to explore and learn more about where we’ve come from. We have received a Saving America’s Treasures grant from the National Park Service in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities that will fund $1 million in repairs of the estimated $16 million that is needed.
What type of uses are anticipated with the building?
Currently our nationally accredited Mainstreet Program, Downtown Excelsior Partnership, manages a visitors center from the building and the City houses some of its offices here. We are prepared to move out of the building to make room for new uses that can more fully utilize the space available within the building. We are open to uses that provide for the restoration of the building, either in whole or in part, and would entertain any number of options for the site.
What else have you done to bring attention to the Hall of Waters?
We have had local conversations about how to best utilize the building and have talked with potential partners locally. Several years ago, we released as RFP that searched for the right partner for the building and we continue to apply for grants that can assist us.
We know that we need to tell the stories of the water so we continue to look for ways to reactivate our historic and unusual waters. We are always searching for the right partner for this project.
We have also applied for an Our Town Grant that would allow us to script our stories so we can share the story of the water in any number of ways. We have a small museum that talks about the building and the spas that were here before and a self-guided tour of the town’s history surrounds the water bar. Tours of the building can be arranged.