Less than a year ago, I wrote a Hidden History column about Robert Rogerson, a Scottish sheepman from Iowa who in 1887 settled in Deep Creek Meadows just north of the present community of Rogerson, west of U.S. 93.

Twenty years later, Rogerson built a grand hotel, designed by C. Harvey Smith, on Main Avenue East in Twin Falls. He named it the Rogerson European Hotel.

The Rogerson building "still stands at the north corner of Main Avenue and Hansen Street East," read the last sentence of my column.

It might not be standing much longer.

The Twin Falls Urban Renewal Agency bought the building in August for $450,000.

Otak, the company planning the $17 million remodeling of downtown Twin Falls, would like to see the building torn down and the site used for concerts, farmers markets and a possible splash park.

Melinda Anderson, URA executive director, told me Wednesday morning the plan is not a done deal. But I hope the plan to demolish the building doesn't change.

Nancy Taylor, vice chairwoman of the Twin Falls City Historic Preservation Commission, said she has heard complaints about the URA's plan from well-meaning, but uninformed, residents.

"People say the Rogerson is 'iconic' or 'historic,'" Taylor said. "Or they say, 'My grandfather used to work there.'"

Taylor understands that many of us yearn for nostalgia, but she said she disagrees with the notion of saving the building.

"I tell people, 'Your memories are wonderful, but they are just memories,'" she said.

I absolutely agree. While I encourage the preservation of historic buildings, the preservation of this one doesn't make sense. Although the building is old, it has lost its historic value over time. It has been remodeled so many times it no longer resembles its original self.

Due to asbestos and structural issues, the building "simply can't be saved," Taylor said.


Load comments