Sunday, August 9, 2009

Big Building, Big Dreams

Many of you may know I'm originally from Ossian, Iowa and I still get my Ossian Bee, the local newspaper, to keep up on the news.  While catching up on Ossian news last night I perused the City Council minutes, to find out one of the largest buildings on Main Street had been donated to the city.  The Dessel building as it is known, has been sitting empty on Main Street for approximately 25 years according to the article. It is the second building in from the right in the photo above. 

Now this may not seem particularly newsworthy, but as I kept reading it stated, "A lengthy discussion ensued regarding liability, insurance, maintenance, possible uses for the structure, and possible demolition of the building."  Now this got me a little riled up, as I have been dreaming more or less about having my own little letterpress business in this building and residing in the second floor.  Now, this is obviously just a dream at this point, but now that they are talking demolition, it really breaks my heart. 

An excerpt from Reflections of a Golden Era, Ossian, Iowa shares this about the Dessel building: 
"The year 1898 found much new construction in Ossian.  F. W. [Dessel] started the construction of the "Dessel Building." This building is 42' x 100', 2 stories in height with a brick and stone front. The huge limestone blocks which are at the 4 corners of the basement area were quarried from the Fred J. Figge quarry south of Ossian in the Silver Springs area."  It goes on to mention that the walls are 6 bricks wide and the Dessel business closed in 1962.  

I would really hate to see the building go.  It could be utilized in so many different ways.  I just hope the city reconsiders or perhaps sells it off to someone wanting to utilize and preserve the building. 

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