Wolverine Building being torn down

Published 5:52 pm Monday, August 12, 2013

Mark Judd built the former home of Wolverine Mutual Insurance Co.

Mark Judd built the former home of Wolverine Mutual Insurance Co.

Dowagiac District Library acquired the Wolverine building earlier this year and began taking down the former school administration headquarters facing Main Street this week.

Library Director Jacob Munford said Monday, “Keeping that building up would keep us from giving our full attention to library services. Being a property manager is hard work,” and upkeep expensive.

While the library board ultimately intends it as the site for a new library, such a planning process is not imminent and could take five to 10 years, Munford said.

While the former home was built by Mark Judd, school administration “carved it up into tiny offices,” he said, plus, it contained enough asbestos it took 10 days to remove. “It had been subdivided so many times it was a disaster.”

Munford said the lot will be seeded with grass.

The garage is staying for storage.

The public library converted to a district library guided by a volunteer board to provide more financial stability.

The city owns the Carnegie building and leases it for $1 a year.

The city also owns the former Clark station lot across Zarry’s Alley a block west of the central business district.

Huntington Bank, including Dogwood Fine Arts Festival headquarters, occupies the rest of the block.

The library at 211 Commercial Street expanded 40 years ago in 1973 to its current appearance.

School officials share the upper level of City Hall.