City marks The Vine building and Maggie’s Books as historic properties

A before and after photo of the Vine Market and Bistro building from when it was first built in the 19th century to showing what it looks like today.

The City of Montrose recently added two more buildings to its historic preservation designation list after council voted to approve The Vine and Maggie’s Books buildings’ inclusion.

On Tuesday, the city council voted on two separate ordinances that allowed both structures to receive historic designations even though they are linked together.

Assistant City Manager Ann Morgenthaler, who presented the measures, said separating the historic preservation designations was recommended due to them having different site numbers, addresses as well as being built at different times. The buildings have also historically housed two different businesses, except for when they both held a Hallmark Store in the 1980s, Morgenthaler said.

The final reason given was that it will help with future reviews for possible alterations and Certificates of Appropriateness, Morganthaler said.

City council voted unanimously on each measure to give this designation to The Vine, also known as the Missouri Building, and Maggie’s Books, also referred to as the Block Building.

“This is a wonderful thing for our community,” Councilor Roy Anderson said before the vote. “I want to thank the property owners for moving forward in this way. It’s something that helps the downtown and the whole community.”

Fellow Councilor Judy Ann Files and youth council member Clara Carrasco also voiced their support for the ordinance.

Passage means the building owners can seek financial support through historic preservation funds.

A structure can receive historic designation if it’s more than 50 years old. The city’s historic preservation ordinance also allows the city to seek Certified Local Government status or CLG.

The program creates partnerships with local and state governments as well as national preservation organizations. The CLG permits the city to have a say in what structures are deemed historically important.

Both The Vine and Maggie’s Books have a long history in Montrose.

The building, which now is occupied by the eatery, has been around since 1882. It was originally a general merchandise store before housing different outlets including a shop for groceries, jewelry and, at one time, a pharmacy.

The current bookshop building’s history also goes way back. The structure, created in 1886, began as an outfitter and transitioned into a Masonic Lodge, before also changing hands multiple times over the last 100 years. Additionally, the building had a bowling alley and pool hall in its basement in the early 1900s, according to Morgenthaler.

With that much history inside its walls, the city wants to make sure the buildings’ historic properties remain the same in the interior and exterior.

Proprietors can propose alterations to their buildings as long as they don’t affect the structure’s historically defining traits, Morgenthaler said. Modifications have to be brought in front of the historic preservation commission, and the members of the commission will decide whether to go through with the adjustments.

“It doesn’t mean these buildings are frozen in time and can only look like they do today,” Morgenthaler said. “There’s definitely the possibility of alterations. But we want to make sure those alterations are done in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior standard.”

She said the owners will have a better chance of getting funds by meeting those standards.

Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.

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