Chances are that you’ve starting hearing the rumblings about what will (or could) become of the “old hospital” property on Park Place that the I Am Free organization abandoned after defaulting on their loan.
As it’s private property, a developer is in escrow to purchase it, after which he has proposed to the Historical Preservation Commission that the existing building (which this online article says is “considered almost completely impossible to renovate unless a philanthropist steps up with $3 million or more”) be demolished to make way for several residences that would be built on that property (exact number undetermined).
Quite a few Facebook post shares and conversations have popped up on the topic – both for and against the proposed demolition and redevelopment into residences. Here’s a snapshot of the various discussions I’ve seen and I hope I’ve done both sides justice in including a fair and equal amount of information for each:
- The “Against Demolition” crowd cites the historic designation of the building in the National Register and the Nevada State Register, although they agree that neither designation imposes any legal restrictions on privately funded projects on private property. This is something that was apparently set in place so that residents weren’t restricted in their renovations on their own properties. But it’s a part of the town’s history (having been built in 1931 by Six Companies – the builders of Hoover Dam) and the town would be better served if the building were saved and restored into a cultural center, museum or other purpose, to benefit both the members of the community and attract tourists.
- The “For Demolition” crowd cites that the irreparable condition of the physical structure (having been intended for a limited life-span during the construction of Hoover Dam and now being over 80 years old), the dangers of the toxic lead and asbestos left exposed when I Am Free gutted the interior, and the all-important question as to who would be the one to fund the property’s purchase and desired restoration into a cultural or community center.
It’s a topic people are passionate about on both sides – the law is on the side of the developer, but the movement to save the building is underway through an online petition at Change.org located here.
So that’s the skinny as it stands now. I’m sure there will be a solid discussion going on our Facebook page and of course – it’s much better for everyone to make their own arguments rather than to be represented solely by my ‘summary from the sidelines’ above — so you can find the Facebook post BY CLICKING HERE so you can read and join the conversation if you like!