Building sold to CHEDA; focus will be solely on preserving Cathedral

    The Prairie Skyline Foundation (PSF) announces that the Thrift Shoppe on West Robert Street will be closing Aug. 30 because there are no suitable buildings available in Crookston.      “We checked out everything in town,” said Kay Hegge, chair of the PSF Board. “Most are too small, some recently sold, and the rest we can’t afford.”     

    PSF recently sold the building at 107-109 W Robert Street for $25,000 to the Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority (CHEDA). The building will demolished to make room for a new parking lot that CHEDA and city officials say is critical to provide more off-street parking slots for a growing number of tenants living in renovated downtown apartments, especially at the Union Building next door.     

    Almost everything in the store is 75 percent off of what’s marked, Hegge said.  "Now we have the store fixtures, hangers, and supplies up for sale in order to avoid storage costs," she said, adding that some of the items are posted on the Prairie Skyline Thrift Shoppe Facebook page.   

    PSF, looking to preserve and restore the historic downtown Cathedral, has submitted a “Legacy” grant application for consideration for architectural and structural engineering work that must be done before the sacristy roofs can be replaced.     

    "Next year we will use the $25,000 from the sale of the Thrift Shoppe to match a Legacy grant application for the roofing project, which includes new flashings, mortar for the steps, new doors, painting the trim and other items to make the exterior more attractive," Hegge explained. "We will be concentrating on writing and calling people and speaking to local clubs instead of running a thrift shop.  Grantors need to see local people and groups donating cash directly to the 'cause' as well as PSF. The bigger the match, the better chances we have or receiving a large 'stabilization' grant in 2015."     

    The next steps are to leverage other grant applications heading toward a $1.1 million estimated restoration cost.  For grant news, Hegge said, follow the Crookston Cathedral Facebook page.   

    "People stop in the thrift shop and they tell me, 'It’s such a shame, they let the building go for so long.'  Or they say 'Aren’t they going to tear that (old Cathedral) down?'" Hegge said. “It is disheartening to hear that over and over. And it tells me, we need to reach more key people with more information. So it is time for a change."   

    The history of the Prairie Skyline Foundation’s efforts will soon be available on the door of the Cathedral as well as a copies of the reuse plan.  Help yourself to a copy, Hegge said, or just call her at 289-1246) for more information.    

    The Thrift Shoppe has been a great way for people to support the old Cathedral by donating their gently used items, she said, and it has been a great way to meet people and talk about the plans for developing a family hands-on arts center in the old Cathedral.     

    "We want to publicly thank everyone for their kind donations of goods, cash, and customers," Hegge said. "A special thank you goes out to our volunteers, especially Cynthia Ansbacher, who got the thrift shop up and running for the last three years."   

    Store hours are Monday through Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m., Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., and Saturday noon until 6 p.m.  On Saturday, Aug. 30, local non-profits are welcome to come in and load up the remaining items to have their own rummage sales, Hegge said.  Doors will be locked for good at 6 p.m. that day, she said.