Weather Forecast


Landmark motel in River Falls finally goes away

Workers were taking down the River Falls Motel building closest to Main Street Tuesday morning. Razing of the five buildings that comprised the motel began Monday. (River Falls Journal photos by Gretta Stark)1 / 3
An excavator was moving what was left of the River Falls Motel Wednesday early afternoon, Dec. 7. 2 / 3
This is all that was visible of the River Falls Motel from Main Street as of Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 7.3 / 3

Starting Dec. 5, those driving through the south side of River Falls likely noticed a change in the view.

Workers began taking down the River Falls Motel Monday and Tuesday.

“It looks so much bigger and nicer,” said City Community Development Director Buddy Lucero of the cleared-away space at 1300 S. Main St.

Lucero said removing the empty corner motel -- there were five buildings -- is a good move for the city.

“The location is an entrance to the city of River Falls, from the south side, and with all the major improvements that are occurring along the university...” he said. “It has always been in the plans to have a higher and better use for that property than a deteriorating building there.”

The River Falls Motel has been vacant for some five years, Lucero said. It was built in the early 1960s. The property was later annexed to the city.

Lucero said neighbors, residents, and people from all over will be very happy to see the motel buildings gone.

In the past several years, the city’s had a number of complaints about the vacant motel.

Police have been called there many times, Lucero said, for complaints including vandalism, trespassing, and people sleeping in the buildings illegally.

Lucero said the hotel’s owner, Bonnie Anderson, wife of the late Peter Anderson, who served as a City Council member, worked with the city to raze the building.

Bonnie Anderson acquired a razing permit from the city. Before the building could be taken down, however, asbestos had to be removed. Furniture, including beds, had to be carted away from the rooms before deconstruction could start Monday morning.

“The building came down with not just the city pursuing this, but the initiative of the community,” Lucero said. “There was a lot of community members and folks that have brought this to our attention and made it more of a concern, and therefore we were able to move quicker on the property.”

Many River Falls Journal Facebook followers have had a lot to say about the hotel's razing.

Some comments include:

For the complete story, see the Dec. 8 print issue of the River Falls Journal.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

(715) 426-1048