Former Pierce County Historical Association, Lawrence building torn down
The former Pierce County Historical Association headquarters at 423 W. Main St. in Ellsworth was torn down Monday, Nov. 26.
The space once housed the Lawrence Photography studio and included a hodgepodge of several additions onto the original structure, which was granted to the PCHA in 2010.
However, the PCHA relocated its headquarters to its River Bluffs Chapter building at W6321 E. Main St. in Bay City earlier this year. The 77-year-old association has been searching for a new central Pierce County location, but faced with an aging, sinking and overloaded Ellsworth-based headquarters, the group moved.
As the Herald reported in October, the association sold the aging building to Quinn Motors of Ellsworth in August — the historical group's next-door neighbors. Co-owner Meghan Quinn-Kummer plans to use the property for vehicle storage and display and to mark her family's 100th anniversary in the auto-sales business.
Quinn's plans to complete the project by 2019. The revamped area will feature better lighting, and increased green space.
"This is really a two-fold project," Quinn Kummer said in October. "It's going to be beautiful."
John Norquist, president of the historical association, said the building had outlived its usefulness for the group. Built before current building codes, it had no foundation and was sinking into the ground.
The group had an architect's assessment done and it had put refurbishing costs for the Ellsworth building at $300,00 to $500,000. Other concerns are lack of handicapped accessibility, space, public restrooms and parking.
"Contractors said it wasn't worth anything," he said. "It wouldn't have been adequate for our long-term needs."