The failure of the sale for the site of the Former Winona Hospital points to a larger issue that this blog has not yet touched on. It’s an issue that would probably be explained better by The Urbanophile, but I’ll attempt to weigh in here. The issue is: large older buildings that have outlived their usefulness, but are not attractive enough to garner support for rescuing them.
I believe that this problem will occur with greater frequency in the near future. Few organizations will want to pay for the demolition costs; however, a large empty building is certainly not ideal. I believe that the main lesson to be learned from this situation is: build with quality in mind. Note the uproar over the fate of the former St. Vincent Hospital. I hope the city is finally beginning to turn the corner in this regard. The massive amount of resources and capital that have been sunk in to low-quality structures is staggering, and it may only cause headaches for future generations to deal with.