By Jeff Clark/Monroe Journal
ABERDEEN – A historic downtown building in Aberdeen, commonly known as the Mink building, is facing a crossroads – it will either be torn down or restored.
And although the building has been cleared by the city in order to begin the demolition process, members of the Save Aberdeen Landmarks Group are hoping to save the structure.
“Andrew Mink has given us the title to the building and we are at a point where we are trying to get the title cleared,” SALG Chairman Dwight Stevens said. “The building was owned by Fred Smith before Andrew Mink. The Smith family has a claim against the title and we are working with them to agree upon a monetary figure that would make the building ours.”
According to Stevens, the building dates back at least to the 1880s.
“We know the building was remolded in the 1880s, but it could have been built even earlier,” Stevens said. “It was originally two buildings and we want to return it to a two-building structure. We are also researching the building and we are going to rename it to reflect its history.”
Stevens said his group has big plans for the building, plans that are already a part of downtown Aberdeen.
“We plan to do this building the same way we did the Kimmel Bakery building, meaning it will have two apartments upstairs and two businesses downstairs. This is a win-win for the city and the residents of Aberdeen as it will increase the tax base and increase people spending their money downtown.”
A helping hand
In order to restore the building, SALG is asking Aberdeen and Monroe County citizens to be a part of the restoration by making a contribution to the group.
“We are going to need help by getting donations,” SALG member Kathy Seymour said. “We want the people of Aberdeen to be a part of this event. We are about to launch a new membership drive and we are asking for everyone to help us out.”
Although the group has a plan in action to save the structure, Seymour said the greatest enemy SALG faces is time.
“Time is of the essence because of the condition of the building,” she said. “The roof is in terrible shape and it has caused considerable grief for Henry’s, which is located next door. Our group has a history of doing what it says it will do and we hope we are able to save another element of historic Aberdeen.”