Owners of historic Janesville building hope to repair building following raze-or-repair order

JANESVILLE, Wis.(WMTV)-- The owners of a historic building in Janesville have until October 10, 2018 to tell the city if they plan to repair or raze the building.

In September, Janesville's building department gave the Grafft family a raze-or-repair order for their building, the former Monterey Hotel, located on Main Street.

The raze-or-repair order gives the Grafft's 30 days to provide the city with a plan for the future of the building.

The city's building director Tom Clippert said the building has been vacant since 1991. He said it has structural issues, and bricks on the outside need grouting. He said the city issued the raze-or-repair order because the building has become a safety concern.

The building opened in 1930. The Rock County Historical Society said it was used as a hotel and restaurant. It was a popular place to stay for people who took the passenger train through Janesville.

Clippert said it is the only building in downtown Janesville with an art deco design.

The historical society said the building is historic, but its location does not fall within Courthouse Hill, which is protected by a historic preservation ordinance, meaning what happens to the building is up to its owners.

The Grafft family sent this statement about the raze-or-repair order:

"The Grafft family is negotiating with the City of Janesville to satisfy the reasonable conditions of the Raze or Repair order. It is not our intention to allow this historic, landmark building in Downtown Janesville to be torn down."

Clippert said the city hopes to see the building restored. He said he’s been answering questions from the Grafft family about repairs.