Days Inn demolition begins Friday

November 30, 2018

Work to raze the Days Inn on the northeast corner of West Center Street and First Avenue will begin Friday.

The demolition of the 98-year-old building has been anticipated since March, when the Rochester City Council voted 5-2 to reject a recommendation to give the building landmark status.

MKDI, LLC, the owner of the Days Inn complex, closed the 85-room hotel in September after seeking a demolition permit in May, and the building was emptied when the Pannekoeken restaurant shut its doors last month.

Starting Friday, sidewalks adjacent to the Days Inn site will be closed to pedestrian traffic, according to Rochester Public Works.

On Saturday and Sunday while demolition is taking place, approximately 150 feet of West Center Street extending east from First Avenue will be closed, along with approximately 125 feet of First Avenue north of Center Street.

While the streets are expected to reopen by Monday, the intersection of Center Street and First Avenue Northwest will remain open to traffic throughout the process.

The demolition has been a consideration since MKDI, which is owned by Mark Kramer of New Hampton, Iowa, applied for a demolition permit in late 2016. That request spurred a lengthy debate about the historic value of the building, which was formerly known as the Hotel Carlton.

Hotel Carlton opened on Sept. 13, 1920, with a U-shaped design that provided natural light and ventilation to all of the rooms. The hotel, which included a marble lobby floor, a drugstore and piano bar, among other amenities, was part of a growing hospitality industry in Rochester, and preservationists cite it as the sole survivor among the mid-sized hotels built during the same period.

Kramer’s attorney, however, argued the proposed landmark status would unfairly limit the owner’s options for the building.

The Hotel Carlton was the city’s first test of a revised heritage preservation ordinance, since it was the first building to be nominated as a landmark without first being on the National Register of Historic Places.

The council voted unanimously to nominate the building as a landmark in 2017, shortly after adopting the revised ordinance, which led to a Heritage Preservation Cmmission review, but ultimately a majority of the council rejected the landmark status.

Note: This article was undated with a revised schedule from Rochester Public Works.

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