As of late last week, a building which had stood for well over a century at 200 S. State Street, and the oldest standing Lincoln Wood Products facility; was laid to rest by C&D Excavating of Merrill.
According to local historian Tim Caylor, the buildings served a variety of purposes over its 100+ year tenure; once being the home of HW Wright Lumber Company until the 1920’s, when it became Kinzel Lumber Company. Then in the 1940’s the building saw another transition when it became home to a Tiny Tot Manufacturing facility. The final transition for the location would be the purchase of the facility by Lincoln Wood Products in the 1960’s.
According to Lincoln Wood Products Vice President and General Manager Dennis Krueger, the company purchased the property in the mid 1960’s, upon closure of the Tiny Tot plant. The company saw an opportunity to expand its production line of patio doors and insulated glass, and the State Street location would serve its purpose well. However, following an expansion to the company’s Chippewa Street facility (Plant #2) in the 1980’s, patio door production from the State Street facility was relocated to Plant #2 and the building became a storage/warehouse facility. Insulated glass production had been relocated previously.
“Upon our recent expansion to our offices and production facilities here on Taylor Street in 1994, it had become apparent to us; older buildings such as those on State Street had become obsolete,” Krueger explained.
“As an example, when the State Street facility was still being used for manufacturing, it consisted of two levels. Having a multi-level manufacturing facility was just not good practice anymore. And now today, we do business a lot different than we did even in 1994. The face of business and production is always changing, now we tend to do more with less. The State Street building really became a ‘catch-all’ over time. Various things were being dropped off there and forgotten about, rather than being properly organized.”
In addition, the overall condition of the building had begun to rapidly deteriorate, according to Krueger.
The building’s plumbing was failing as well as experiencing consistent electricity and wiring issues.
“It was about five years ago when we began discussing the possibility of taking the building down and look at marketing it for outside development,” Krueger said.
“Things got rolling last year and by April we were wrapping up Environmental Studies in the area. Around June 1st, Mr. Kolehouse and his crew at C&D Excavating got to work dismantling the property.”
As of now there are no specific plans in place for the future of the property, however Krueger did indicate a fair amount of interest being expressed in the property from various developers, as well as the City of Merrill.
If and when the property is sold for development, revenue generated could be used for physical and/or process expansion for the company. If an expansion were to occur, Krueger readily admits the potential for additional jobs lies therein.
Krueger estimates the clearing of the property to be finished by mid-July and on the market for sale and development by the fall.