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Wednesday - September 27, 2017 2:55 am

Historic designation being appealed on 19th-century building between bridges that's been vacant 15 years

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City council will hear appeal in Oct. 

Rahn Pischke is pretty certain he doesn't own a historic building in La Crosse.

That's why the car dealership mogul is appealing the historic designation just slapped on a building on 3rd Street that he was planning on tearing down

Last month, La Crosse's Heritage Preservation Commission declared the 19th century former meat market historic.

"I originally bought the building to expand my sales lot," Pischke said. "I had no intention on saving the building upon purchasing the building. I had no idea that this is something that would happen.

"The problem with the committee is it's such a broad - you could say anything's historic by their qualifications, I guess."

Pischke's appeal of that designation will be heard by the city council next month. He says getting forced to keep and fix the building would cost him millions of dollars.

It should have been obvious to the city's Heritage Preservation Commission, Pischke said, that the long empty building was short on historic relevance.

"I don't fault them for wanting to save buildings," he said. "I think that is important for downtown La Crosse. We've lost a lot of old buildings back in the day that probably would have been cool to have.

"This building, I don't feel, falls in line with any of those buildings whatsoever."

The building has been vacant for 15 years and, Tim Acklin with the city's planning office said in August, it isn't in an ideal location.

The building has also been the home of a box company, a brewer and an electric motor company. It dates back possibly to the 1860s.

Last modified on Wednesday - September 27, 2017 3:24 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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