A building in Superior that has been empty for 25 years, may have a new lease on life.
The historic Carnegie Library on Hammond Avenue has been up for sale for two years by the Friends of Superior Carnegie Library LLC who were hoping to sell the building to someone who would preserve its history. A new buyer might do just that.
The 14,000 square foot building was built 115 years ago but has been empty for the past two decades.
Although it is not on the National Register of Historic Places, many in Superior say The Carnegie Library is a historic building.
Priced at $125,000 the new buyer is looking to find tenants and renovate the space.
The library served the people of Superior until 1991 when the library relocated.
Previously owned by the city, the building was voted to be condemned, but locals gathered together to chip in to help save the building and formed the Friends of Superior Carnegie Library in 2006.
Members of the group dug into their own pockets to buy the building from the city to preserve its historic value.
The group has approved an offer to purchase the building to Osterlund Architects LLC.
Osterlund will be conducting a six-month feasibility study to identify potential tenants and the future uses of the building.
Bob Swanson, Executive Director of the Friends of Superior Carnegie Library says, "It's one of the most iconic buildings left in the city of Superior. Our society doesn't respect or understand the value of some of the history. If you went to Europe and some other countries, a building would never sit like this. It's kind of sad but I think we're starting to have an awareness as to what something like this is worth as far as to the community."
The building is the first and oldest of 63 Carnegie Libraries built in Wisconsin.
Swanson says he believes the developer buying the building has plans to use it for office areas and shared spaces.
He says with the condition of the building it could take upwards of $1 million to rehabilitate.
The Friends of Superior Carnegie Library members that pitched in to buy the building will receive the money from the purchase, but it's likey the group would not make a profit off of it due to inflation.