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Butte Council votes to demolish Brinck's, Deluxe buildings

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Oct 02 2013 06:15:17 PM MDT
Updated On: Oct 02 2013 10:46:35 PM MDT
Butte council to make decision about Brinck's building
BUTTE, Mont. -

The Butte-Silver Bow Council of Commissioners decided to tear down the historic Brinck's and Deluxe buildings during their meeting Wednesday night.

District 3 Commissioner John P. Morgan wrote a letter to the council on September 19, asking commissioners to approve tearing down the building.

The letter asks commissioners to approve city resources to complete the demolition, and the work be done at the first available opportunity in October.

We've been following the debate over what to do with the building at the corner of Front Street and Utah Avenue since the city announced plans to sell it back in 2011.

Some people in the community think these historic buildings need to be preserved, while others believe there's a creative answer out there.

The debate over what to do with buildings started back in 2011. The city wanted to sell it for $5,000, but whoever bought it would have had to fix it up.

But the focus changed about a year later. In 2012, city leaders began to question whether it was salvageable. In June that year, an outside engineer found the building was too far gone and should be demolished.

But it shared a wall with the Deluxe building, meaning both buildings would have to come down.

Then in May of this year, city leaders voted to buy the Deluxe building for $40,000, clearing the way for possible demolition.

Most recently, the council rejected a proposal to rehab the two buildings, explaining the proposal didn't meet the requirements the council needed to approve the plan.

Many residents fought against the proposed demolition, citing the buildings' historic value.

Director of the Butte Archives Ellen Crain explained, "the Deluxe building was a very viable place until very, very recently, and the buildings themselves feel an important corner in that particular neighborhood."

With the largest historic district in the country, Crain said many people in the Mining City strongly disagree about tearing it down.

But engineers have determined the dilapidated buildings have deteriorated to a point where they are no longer salvageable, and other community members see no point in keeping the buildings around.