June 7th, 2017
Hundreds tour the Fournet building, and provide input on the Crookston community, both as it is today, and what they'd like it to bein the future
Downtown Crookston was buzzing with activity last weekend with tours of the historic Fournet Building on the corner of Broadway and Robert, and a Community Forum hosted by the Downtown Crookston Development Partnership. Fournet owner Jeff Evers reports that over 1,000 people toured the building Friday and Saturday.
"A lot of positive comments (were made) on the architecture of the building," said Evers in an email to the Times. "Most people couldn't believe it when they got to the main atrium area."
"Good celebration of the Fournet building and what a treasure it is for Crookston," he added.
Evers mentioned, while talking with people on the main floor at the forum portion of the tour, that he wants to bring renovation plans to the Crookston City Council soon with a request for financial incentives so he can begin work on the second floor project for Tri-Valley Opportunity Council. Evers and Tri-Valley recently signed a lease agreement that would have Tri-Valley move across the street from its current location at the northeast corner of the intersection of Broadway and Robert, to the Fournet building at the northwest corner. The deal states that the project would need to be started within six months or Tri-Valley and Evers would part as friends and look elsewhere.
The work would take about 12 months for the second floor and another 12 months for the third floor," Evers stated.
Numerous tables were set up on the main floor of the Fournet Building Friday during the tour for a "downtown forum" that included information from the ‘Crookston Tomorrow' survey done in 2015, a chronology of the Fournet building as well as occupants from 1899-present, a Downtown Crookston Master Plan rendering by JLG Architects, information from the Polk County Historical Society and ways for the public to interact and interject on what they love about Crookston and what they'd like to see.
Stickers were provided at a majority of the tables for people to place on what they think downtown Crookston needs (like an outdoor ice skating rink or more outdoor seating), what they talk about most when they mention Crookston (the people, places, history, etc.) and even what they don't like (small sidewalks, empty spaces, one-way traffic, etc.)
"We really want to know what everyone thinks when they think of Crookston and downtown Crookston," explained DCDP facilitator Dillon Fenno. "Any feedback we receive helps us figure out what we can do to make Crookston better."