During Monday night’s Plan Commission meeting, Historic Preservation Commission member Garry Prohaska said a developer was interested in purchasing the Gates Hotel building that is part of the former Pioneer Ford property.
That developer is Toben Murdock of Galena, who confirmed he was “definitely, absolutely interested” to The Journal Monday night.
“I have been involved in historic restoration with Garry and my architect here,” said Murdock. “We’ve been successful in this endeavor, and I just think that building is in immaculate condition. … In terms of the historic restoration projects I’m in, this has more architectural fabric than any I’ve been in, and it’s in the best condition.”
Murdock said he saw the outside of the building Friday, and has seen photos Prohaska took of the interior of the building — “the tin ceiling, the walls, the wainscoting and the trim — you can see the original desk for the hotel.
“It seems so shameful to thin they would tear that building down for a parking lot.”
Prohaska said Monday night the Gates Hotel building, also known as the Samuel Moore house, is one of four buildings downtown “that are still standing from early history.” The others are the 100 E. Main St. building, the Hendershot building at the northwest corner of Main Street and Fourth Street, and the stagecoach stop building at 90 E. Mineral St. that is the former home of Milio’s Sandwiches before it moved to East Business 151 and South Water Street.
Murdock said the building could be used as residential on its top floor and basement and commercial on the first floor.
“I definitely have an interest in that property,” he said. “I don’t want to commit to anything, but I would appreciate the opportunity to negotiate with the city, and see if we can come to terms with the city.”