Decision to demolish Kirkbride is a sad onePublished 8:57am Wednesday, October 3, 2012 Updated 12:58pm Wednesday, October 3, 2012
I am saddened by the city’s option on not to keep the Kirkbride building for a historical American monument.
Since the Kirkbride state hospital in Fergus Falls was built with almost 900,000 square feet, it was the biggest building before the Pentagon. One would think that the city of Fergus Falls would like that publicity.
There are a lot of new buildings that are and have been sitting empty. People have been trained to shop under one roof. This is a great building to have all kinds of shops, that would otherwise plan to build new buildings that will probably be empty in a few years.
If you keep the rent cost down so the shops can afford rent, you will get more shops in there to pay for the upkeep — just think of it as a Fergus Falls Mall of America.
I understand the Fergus Falls State Hospital was a self-contained community. Consisting of 637 acres including pasture, orchards, dairy and horse barns, 35 garden acres, and 650 tillable acres to support the needs of a farm. And the Kirkbride building has a big enough generator that can power the whole farm and the Kirkbride building, and probably the town as well.
But the State of Minnesota declared the RTC “surplus property.” Before the state started downsizing it and auctioning off parts of it, it was in better shape. The architect is still there. I am just another voice.