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New Chamber building impressive

By Staff | Sep 3, 2017

Blue Earth Chamber of Commerce executive director Cindy Lyon will probably be just a bit surprised to see the story and photos of the new Chamber office, visitor center, and Giant Museum building on the front page of this week’s Faribault County Register.

Oh, Lyon knows all about the building. She has been working hard for several years to get it to be a reality. And, as the story relates, it is on schedule to become a reality within the next 12 months.

And that is exciting news.

It is the drawing of the new building that concerns the Chamber director. She was not so sure we should run it in the newspaper. Her fear is that people will think this is exactly what it will look like, and chances are it will not be just the same as this drawing.

So, I will again offer this little precautionary note.

This is just the very first architectural draft of what the building could possibly look like. In the next couple of months, the plans will be tweaked and eventually finalized. So, it will probably look something like the architect’s drawing on the front page this week, but maybe not exactly like it.

But, boy oh boy, what if it did look something like this? It would be pretty cool.

And what a great addition to the city of Blue Earth.

We thought it was worthy of putting it on the front page so folks can see just what the Chamber is planning to build out in front of the Green Giant statue. The hope is that folks will get excited about this venture and want to be a part of it, and help make it happen. That includes making a donation towards its construction.

While the Chamber has done a good job of collecting funds, there is still a big sum of money needed. So if you have the means to donate any amount, please consider doing so. And if you are able to make a hefty donation, even better.

And today would be a fine time to do that.

It was around 10 years ago that I wandered into the city of Blue Earth and looked around. One of the stops, of course, was at the Green Giant statue. You have got to do it, it is practically mandatory.

And, like probably many others, I wondered about this empty building that looked like it once had been some type of mini-mart gas station.

Why is the Giant statue tucked in behind this empty building, I thought. And I wondered why it wasn’t being used as the welcome center for the Giant Park.

In the past few years the building was in use again, first for ag equipment sales and then as the Crazy Cow Creamery.

Then it went empty once more. I wrote more than once in this column space that I felt that it just plain needed to go away.

Now it is gone.

The Chamber was able to purchase the building and the land, with help from the Blue Earth EDA, and then demolish the building. Now, instead of trying to remodel that old structure and maybe make it work as a welcome center, and maybe not, there will soon be a very impressive combination welcome center, chamber office and Giant Museum there.

Very exciting, and very worthy of being on our front page this week.

The Giant gets thousands of visitors each year. Many just stop and take a photo or two. Some stop in at the Little Red Barn information center and sign in, maybe buy a T-shirt or other souvenir. Not many at all get downtown to the museum’s current location.

All that will soon change.

Instead of the Chamber office being stuffed into what was once the tiny police station, the museum cramped into the stalls that once held fire trucks, and the visitor’s center at the Giant Park being a small shed-type tiny little barn, they will all be in a large, new beautiful structure.

And that is pretty exciting, don’t you think?

Just last week a visitor to the city of Blue Earth commented how nice the city looked. They were impressed with everything from the roundabouts, to the fairgrounds, from the clean look of downtown to the Putnam Park complex.

They thought it looked like a nice place to come visit or even move to.

They were right.

There are many attractive areas in town, some old and many of them new.

And replacing an abandoned old gas station with a building that will look something like that drawing on the front page will be a prime example of that.

As Cindy Lyon would say, “It’s going to be giant!”