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Redwood Falls Gazette - Redwood Falls - MN
  • TROY'S COLUMN — Revitalizing downtown Redwood

  • I’m not really the excitable type, and most who know me recognize if I express any kind of enthusiasm about something to me it has to be a pretty big deal....
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  • I’m not really the excitable type, and most who know me recognize if I express any kind of enthusiasm about something to me it has to be a pretty big deal.
    During a recent interview, I am convinced I gave my excitement away, as I think I repeated the words “wow” and “cool” more than I would typically do in a year. (Perhaps it was the influence of the vintage carpet.)
    While I call it an interview, it was more of a tour, as Craig LaBrie took me through the old Wilson’s building one floor at a time talking about the vision he and his wife, Cindy, have for nearly every square inch of what is a pretty significant downtown building.
    In my youth, I recall being in the Wilson’s building a few times and actually bought some nice clothes there when I was dating my best half. My visit to Wilson’s then and always until the three-story tour from Craig, was limited to the main level.
    Let me just say as one who appreciates history, I absolutely enjoyed seeing the building from top to bottom. Just walking into the old American Legion and witnessing a space where it looked as if time had stopped was a lot of fun for someone like me.
    Knowing Craig and Cindy have the same appreciation of history gives me confidence they are going to emphasize that as they continue to remodel and redefine the iconic building on the corner of Second and Washing-ton streets.
    Never one to be all that observant, I had not really thought much about the turret that juts out on the top floor of the facility, but when you see it from the inside it takes on a whole new sense of perspective – at least that’s what it did for me.
    Speaking of the old Legion hall, Craig also pointed out to me the entrance area that indicates the space also served a different function as in block lettering the floor says “KP Hall,” which I am pretty sure stands for the Knights of Pythias. I know there were plenty of early city fathers who were members of this secret organization, and having that piece of history, for me, just adds to the mystique of this building.
    As you can probably tell, I am a very excited about what I saw and the vision that was shared with me by Craig during the tour.
    While I am still getting to know the LaBries, the more I visit with them, and the more I hear from others, the greater my confidence level increases in their ability to take this building, do what they envision to it and make it a success. I believe they are exactly the right people to be taking on this daunting task and to help take a huge step toward revitalizing our downtown.
    Page 2 of 2 - Honestly, I am also excited about the idea of them having paddle boards for me to rent. I have always wanted to give this a try and have not had the opportunity or the means.
    I am looking forward to following the progress of the old Wilson’s building and its conversion into something great.
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