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:

419: Frey Block🔥

This 1887 building, later known as the A.G. Edwards Building at the NE corner of Sandusky & Main, was originally 3 stories tall. After a October 25, 1955 fire, the 3rd floor was removed, and the structure was given a new facade. At the time of the final fire, ground floor was home to A.G. Edwards & Sons, and the 2nd floor contained 5 apartments. Only two were occupied at the time of the fire. Both residents and a 3rd person were killed.

🔥February 12, 2006 around 5AM

  • 3 fatalities: Chris E. Kohli (46), William H. Wagner (76), Frank Van Dyke (35)
  • fire extinguished after 8 hours by 3 engines & 2 aerials
  • Owned by Nicholas Moser
  • Thought to have been caused by a furnace, but ultimately cause undetermined
  • Bought by the city for $50,000. $50,000 was additionally paid to demolish it, although Moser’s insurance would have covered demolition before the city’s purchase.
  • An additional $45,000 was paid to turn the lot into “Millstream Art Plaza,” in partnership with Millstream Career Center.
  • A mural was meant to be painted onto the empty wall, but the wall was never repaired sufficiently
  • A memorial to the 3 residents killed in the fire was meant to be part of the project. This was never done.
  • Entrance gate has not been repaired since the February 23, 2017 high-speed chase crashed into it

🔥Wednesday, December 12, 2001 10:33PM

  • Fire extinguished by 3AM the following morning
  • 39 firefighters, 2 ladder trucks
  • Ground floor: Kids Books & Teacher Stuff
  • 2nd floor: 6 apartments
  • $350,000 in damages
  • located just north of the Main Street Deli – the site is now a parking lot
  • cause undetermined
  • Owners: Glenn & Mary Hill and George & Marilyn Rehm
  • no injuries
Marathon Building🔥

🔥February 14, 2006 at 9:47AM

  • Grease fire in 3rd floor kitchen
522-534: Argyle Building🔥🔥🔥
Ground floor at time of final fire: Subway, the Baker’s Delight, Generations Salon and Spa, & Earth and Secrets; Floors 2, 3 & 4: 31 apartments. Owner at time of fires listed below: John & Sharon Frullo.

🔥Sunday, October 17, 1999 5:08AM

  • fire began in a couch in a vacant apartment, but cause undetermined
  • $25,000 in damages

🔥Sunday, January 27, 2001 4:57PM

  • fire started in a 2nd-floor apartment kitchen
  • only 15 to 20 minutes to extinguish the fire
  • $60,000 in damage
  • appeared suspicious, but investigation result was never published in the newspaper
🔥Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 4:30AM
  • 50 firefighters
  • 38 residents at time of fire, including a 92-year-old lady
  • no injuries
  • over $500,000 in damage
  • cause undetermined due to extensive damage, but suspected to have been faulty electrical wiring

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