But the Shodeen family says it is committed to preserving the historical integrity of the property.
On Tuesday, the Shodeen family announced it had bought the Mill Race Inn but did not disclose the sales price. The asking price was reduced several times, most recently to $890,000 in May 2013.
The Shodeen family said in a Tuesday press release that any potential development will include challenges resulting from flooding in recent years.
“Regardless of the final use we are committed to preserving the historical integrity of the site by incorporating the blacksmith portion of the current building with its historical significance into the planning process,” Shodeen said.
Though the Mill Race Inn is not part of Geneva’s historic district, a limestone structure on the site dating back to 1846 still stands, according to a Tuesday press release from Walsh Communications.
Despite modifications over the years, some of its original walls remain according to a recent report on the property’s history developed by city staff members. A carriage house was located on the land in 1892, and in 1933, Ann Forsyth opened The Mill Race Inn tearoom in the original building.
The Mill Race Inn continued to operate as a restaurant under several owners undergoing many renovations until finally closing its doors in January 2011.
“Shodeen’s reputation and quality is evidenced throughout Geneva and has helped shape our community to become the envy of cities throughout the Midwest,” said Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns, Mayor of Geneva. “The prospect of working with them on the redevelopment of the Mill Race Inn is exciting on every level.”
For over 50 years, Shodeen has demonstrated their commitment to preserving Geneva’s historical spots, and their link to the past:
- Geneva on the Dam, located on the northwest bank of the river, was the former Howell & Co. foundry once known as the world’s largest manufacturer of sad irons.
- In 1993 The Herrington Inn & Spa opened its doors as the area’s top boutique hotel in what was a former dairy creamery dating back to 1874.
- Adjacent to The Herrington, the former Pump House was renovated in 1999 and serves as the hotel’s private event space.
Each was restored using limestone or brick from the original foundation in the structures.
Other significant Shodeen restoration projects throughout Geneva include Dodson Place retail district on Third Street, which incorporated the original Geneva Community Hospital and the building on First Street which serves as the firm’s main offices.
Tell us in the comments section: What do you think should be done with the Mill Race Inn property?