Deconstruction on the addition to the Belle MFA building along Alvarado Avenue began Tuesday morning in preparation of moving the original section of the structure along Highway 28 where Buehrlen …
Deconstruction on the addition to the Belle MFA building along Alvarado Avenue began Tuesday morning in preparation of moving the original section of the structure along Highway 28 where Buehrlen Station was demolished in 2019.
Local businessman Jimmy Zumwalt purchased the building from the city last fall, outlining plans to remove it from its current location and restore it in another.
“So our first process is to get the addition taken off and the next stop, we will pour a footing down at the Buehrlen property where we are moving it to,” Zumwalt said Tuesday afternoon. “They will come in later, jack up the building and put it over there.”
According to the March 16 conversation, Zumwalt said they probably won’t move the entire building until summer. The company hired to complete the move will be in town for a week, and the electric company will need to come in and lower wires to move the building to its new home.
“We are going to restore it back to its original look,” Zumwalt said. “Put the wings back on it and make it look like the time period. There will be some things on it that will have some modern to it. It will be neat when we are done.”
Zumwalt added that he has always been a collector of MFA memorabilia and will be hanging it inside the building. He also mentioned that the original wood bins are still inside they building and they may remove those to add a second floor.
“We are not getting any funding or anything for this project,” Zumwalt said. “It is me, my wife, and my company and employees who will do the work. A lot of people think you can get all kinds of government money to rebuild old buildings, but it is not worth it. We will do it all ourselves, fix it up neat.”
Zumwalt responded to a city advertisement last fall requesting bids to tear down the structure.
“We hated to see that,” he said. “I guess that it is our civic obligation, we felt something needed to be done with the building other than being tore down.”