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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "Research on the history of the downtown area has already been done"

Posted: Wed, Sep 9, 2015 4:09 PM

Our story ( about the Decorah Historic Preservation Commission looking for volunteers to research the history of downtown Decorah brought two e-mails:

(Dennis e-mailed: "I wonder if the Historic Preservation Commission is aware that the research onthe downtown area has already been done.  Gillmer and Eleanor Seegmiller, did it in their 1998 hardbound book "Decorah, City of Springs".  The book includes maps, extensive photographs and a history of each building.  This book also includes the first blocks south of Water Street of Winnebago and Washington Streets.)

Mr. Answer Person says: Thanks, Dennis, for bringing up this information--it might make the Historic Preservation Commission's work a lot easier.

(Jim e-mailed: If the Historic Preservation Commission has gotten $31,500 in grants, but the Commission wants people to volunteer their time researching downtown Decorah buildings, just what is that money being used for?"

Mr. Answer Person says: "The money will be paid to a consultant to draw up the application to have downtown Decorah added to the National Register of Historic Places.  Such applications are very specialized, so almost always a consultant is hired to draft the application."