S&R building sign restoration approved

by Emmitt B. Feldner
of The Review staff

PLYMOUTH – The newly-designated historic Sartori Foods building at 2 E. Main St. will have its historic wall signs restored as part of a general renovation.

The Plan Commission approved a conditional use permit for painted S&R Cheese Corp. wall signs on two facades of the historic structure, which was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Matt Dochterman, vice president of operations at Sartori, explained that the sign restoration is part of what he termed a repurposing process at the historic plant.

“The intent is to take the building back to about circa 1960,” Dochterman told the commission members. That means removing all paint and other surface coverings on the building.

In that process, Building Inspector Pete Scheuerman explained, remnants of the two painted S&R signs were discovered.

S&R eventually became Sartori Foods.

In order to update the signs, he added, a conditional use permit must be approved by the commission, rather than just a sign permit from the building inspector.

“This is one of only a handful of what are basically cheese factories that are registered on the state and national historic registers, which is significant,” City Administrator Brian Yerges noted.

Another step in the upgrade of the downtown Mullet River waterfront, a public restroom building, was approved by the commission.

Architect Mark Pfaller presented plans for the building, which will be located between 321 and 401 E. Mill St.

The 517-square foot building will be located just to the south of the existing planter on Mill Street. It will include men’s, women’s and family restrooms, Pfaller said.

It will include security lighting and an automatic door lock system that will restrict hours that the restrooms are open, from say 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. or whatever hours city officials want to set, he added.

“It will be under construction for about two months (this summer), but we’re going to make sure the roadway is kept open so people can get in and use the (municipal) parking lot,” Pfaller said.

The entrances to the restrooms will be from the west side of the building, which will have grey shingle siding with a stone base and a silver metal roof.

“This has a very nice appearance that is very appropriate for downtown. It’s well lit and that’s important,” Mayor Donald Pohlman commented.

The commission approved accessory building plans for the school district and the Plymouth Historical Society.

Beau Biller, construction trades teacher at Plymouth High School, presented the plans for garden shed buildings at Fairview, Horizon and Parkview elementary schools.

He explained that, in conjunction with the Rotary Club, community gardens have been placed at each of the three schools. “The principals and community members are looking for sheds next to the gardens,” he added.

Students in Biller’s classes presented several designs and the principals at each school selected one for their location. The students will build the sheds, which will be constructed on skids so they will be movable.

Bryan Franzen of the historical society presented their plans for permanently locating an historic Feldmann barn that was relocated from the corner of Main and North streets several years ago on the alley way behind the society’s museum at 420 E. Mill St.

A wagon and buggy shed and lean-to for horses that were part of the original barn will be reconstructed as part of the project, Franzen added. “The building will be used basically as on and off display area,” he said.

The commission approved the barn plan, as well as an additional proposed storage building, provided both are located outside the designated floodplain area.

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