After sitting vacant for 11 years, the Friedrich Building, which sits next to the Goodhue County Historical Society, may be brought back to life in the form of apartments, offices, storage space for the museum, or a combination of the proposed uses.

During the 2019 City Council workshop in January, Brian Peterson presented information about the Friedrich Building. He explained that the city-owned structure essentially is just a shell at the moment, nothing else is salvageable.

Though the building has been “mothballed,” according to Peterson, city staff recommended that a new plan should be created this year because the building has been steadily deteriorating.

Red Wing resident Suzanne Blue was the only individual to respond to the city’s April 26 advertisement to consider proposals for the vacant building.

According to the city, the main focus of Blue’s proposal is to use the Friedrich Building as additional space for the historical society. However, she has met with an architect to explore floor plans for apartments or offices.

Before work on refurbishing the structure can begin, the roof will need to be replaced because it leaks. The staff report explained that the process is not as simple as installing a new roof: “There is a need to complete environmental cleanup and interior demolition so that the roof structure can be viewed to obtain a more precise roofing cost estimate.”

Blue is considering donating the required funds for the cleanup and demolition.

This donation, according to the report, comes “with the idea that it would be the city’s intent to continue to work together in good faith to address the roof project and necessary repairs and then to consider a sale or lease of the building to her or a nonprofit organization of her choosing.”

Current estimates for the environmental cleanup are $53,450. Peterson presumes there is lead paint, asbestos, and other hazardous materials.

The council approved of this plan. Council President Dean Hove enthusiastically shared that he is happy to see something done with the structure.

Red Wing’s City Council voted unanimously Monday to accept the donation for initial environmental cleanup and interior demolition and to continue exploring Blue’s proposal.