Old Stone Building Targeted For Demolition

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, January 2 2014 at 3:01 PM, Updated: Thu, January 2 2014 at 3:10 PM

One of the oldest commercial buildings on Main Street in Klamath Falls is targeted for demolition.

This kitty is currently the only occupant of the Melhase Building, which was built in 1905 at a cost of five thousand dollars.

Klamath County Museum Manager Todd Kepple notes that the building saw many uses through the years...

"It was for a while a meat market, the city hall had its offices in there for a while - the city library was upstairs."

It also served as an early Elks Lodge, a bank, and home to Van Fleet Electric.

Klamath Falls City Manager Nathan Cherpeski says the old stone building has deteriorated to the point where it had to be vacated...

"We did walk through it with contractors, and it had been condemned at one point by the county.  It's in really, really bad shape."

A bid to demolish the building will go before the Klamath Falls City Council Monday night.

While the building may have a rich history, no one is willing to pay for the repairs.

"Opinions are mixed as to how great an effort should have been made to save this building."  Says Museum Manager Kepple.  "It's obviously an interesting structure, but we can't say it's one of the more beautiful buildings in the downtown area."

And the kitty appears ready to find a new home...

An effort will be made to salvage at least some of the stone blocks from the building.

Once the building is gone, the property will most likely be used for parking.

What do you think? Sound off on our Facebook page and on Twitter, or leave a comment below.

About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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