WINONA, Minn. (WCCO) – A Winona couple says they can’t believe a historic downtown building is gone after Friday morning’s fire.READ MORE: Alec Baldwin Fired Prop Gun That Killed Cinematographer, Injured Director On Movie Set (CBS News)
Jerry Schuler and his wife, Karen, say they remember walking through historic downtown as kids — 70 years ago.
“Most these buildings downtown are old,” Karen Schuler said. “I mean, 1800s…so, it’s shocking.”
Three of those buildings are now total losses. One of those destroyed in the fire was on the national register of historic places.
“There’s a hole in our downtown,” said Mayor Mark Peterson.READ MORE: 3 People Shot In Separate Minneapolis Shootings Thursday Night
The mayor says the last major fire downtown was in 1862, and then the city had to rebuild the entire block.
“This is unfortunate, but we will pick up and move on and try to help those businesses that are displaced,” he said.
There’s no decision if the three businesses and several apartments destroyed will be rebuilt.
“I know it won’t be the same, structurally, but I hope they rebuild them,” one resident said.
For longtime Winona residents, however, the buildings –and town –won’t ever be the same.MORE NEWS: Data Show COVID Cases In Minnesota Schools Have Declined, But Experts Still Watching For Long-Term Trends
“I think the history is lost,” Karen Schuler said.