Business owner saves historic building - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Business owner saves historic building

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WASHINGTON (KWWL)-- The Mills Seed building played an important role in shaping the Washington community back in the early 1900's

"It's significant not only to the history of Washington but to the history of the country because it was originally built as a distribution for seeds," said David Plyman, Washington city administrator.

Over time, parts of the interior have worn away causing structural problems forcing the owner to consider two options.

"The city council was working with the property owner to have the building either refurbished or demolished," Plyman said.

Renovating the building at its current location on the edge of town made little sense economically.

That's when business owner, and Washington resident Jeremy Patterson presented a third option.  Relocation.

"Historic preservation is deep in our hearts and it's in my hometown and we had a chance to save a structure and we did," said Jeremy Patterson, whose structural moving company has moves buildings across the country.

The entire process to move the building from its original site to laying it on its new foundation a quarter of a mile away downtown will take about 40 days.

The Washington based crew is moving the 11 hundred ton, three story brick structure using 31 hydraulic dollies on 248 wheels all with a joystick.

"It's like playing a video game," Patterson said.

Once the company is finished moving.  They'll begin the renovation process to make the building once again livable.

"This is the biggest economical boom our community has had in a long time, this project allows up to 14 to 20 thousand working man hours to be on this project of all trades," said Patterson.

Once the project is completed, the building will house office space and apartments in downtown Washington.

Patterson will receive tax credits and private investments to help fund the project.

The historic building seems once again to have a promising future in Washington.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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