Tear it down, or spend a kazillion dollars renovating the space?
The City of Lewiston Maine has long struggled with ideas for what to do with the Bates Mill No. 5 building. Much of the city center has been undergoing a revival over the past ten years. This landmark remnant of Lewiston's textile mill hay days came to the forefront this past year when an initiative to build a casino, hotel, and convention center on the site failed to get voter approval.
Most of us in the Lewiston/Auburn Maine area have never seen the inside of the building that we pass by each day. From the outside, it appears to be fraught with possibilities. Mainers pride themselves on their creative utilization of the old for something new. Other mill buildings in the area have been successfully renovated, although they are still not at full occupancy. However, in this case, has the deterioration gone beyond the point of usefulness?
Today, the Lewiston Sun Journal ran a good story on the potential fate of the Bates Mill No. 5 building and included the video below. Personally, I was struck by the level of deterioration on the interior and the fact that so much of the old factory equipment is still there. What do you think? Time to tear it down...or is there still hope?