For Part 1 (N. Main St.), click here.
South Main Street
South Main has not seen the same level of flood damage as North Main. Nonetheless, it has has been the site of multiple devastating fires. Additionally, this side of the river has seen demolition to make way for new buildings. For instance, the former Elk’s lodge at 601 and a neighboring office building at 613 were razed for Marathon expansion.
Demolition for new construction is not new to the area. One example is the Phoenix Inn (later Hotel), which stood at the southeast corner of S. Main St. and E. Main Cross St. for decades. It even lived up to its name and rose from the ashes after a 1909 fire. However, it was demolished in 1978 to make way for a new build. A November 1972 Republican-Courier article stated, “the new building will contain a luxury restaurant on the top floor, a ground floor concourse of shops and retail stores and a coffee shop.” Plans changed, and the site is now First Federal Bank.
Here is a comparison of S. Main St. from Main Cross to Hardin Streets. Slide the blue icon to the right to see 1988, and to the left to see 2018:
Rumors are flying that two more historic buildings on S. Main St. may fall victim to the wrecking ball: the Reick’s Building (520-524) and historic 540, at the NW corner of Hardin & Main, which houses multiple businesses. The potential new build would put the old Argyle lot to use to make way for a multi-story retail and apartment complex. With its gabled slate roof, 540, a former Cooper Service Center built in 1927, is undoubtedly of the most unique historic buildings in town.
Click on the addresses below to learn about the fire(s) at that location: