JORDAN, Minn. – A mudslide is threatening an historic building in downtown Jordan.
The hillside behind the limestone structure collapsed on Thursday, forcing mud and debris crashing through the thick stone walls and through the kitchen area of a third-floor apartment.
The structure is called the "old brewery" building because it housed a brewery 80 years ago. The structure was restored by Gail Andersen, who is now 97. Her granddaughter, Barbara Lee, currently owns the building with her business partner, Kevin Breeggemann.
"The back of the hillside gave loose during the second of the rainfalls on Thursday," said Lee. "Our concern is that it is safe for our renters here. My grandmother restored this building and we have been trying to keep it occupied, and we just brought in a renter for the first floor that is starting a micro brewery. He is set to open in a couple of months."
However, opening day for Roet's Brewery in the space is on hold while Lee and Breeggemann figure out how to repair the damage and stabilize the hill behind the building. The micro brewery has been taking advantage of the exposed limestone walls for the brewery and tap room. A spiral staircase to the apartments above stands where the old brewery's brewing vat once stood.
Lee received hugs of support from her father and 97-year-old grandfather in the brewery space on Saturday. She is hoping for support from engineers and the public about answers to the dilemma as well as funding to pay for the repairs.
One proposal is to build a road up the steep hillside to repair the damage and build retaining walls to stabilize the hill.
"It is not covered by insurance," said Lee. "So, we are having experts come out and tell us what to do. We have to build a road? How do we do that? And how do we pay for it? We do not have any insurance and landslides just are not covered in Minnesota. We have a lot of insurance on the building. If it is a tornado or a fire, we are totally insured, but something like this is not."
Lee said a fund to restore the building is being set up at the Riverland Bank in Jordan. Anyone with contributions or information should contact the bank beginning on Monday.