The North Platte Historical Commission unanimously agreed Monday to try to get the Pawnee Hotel designated as a city historical property and site. The designation must be considered at a public hearing. If adopted, it would allow the city a 60-day time period to consider plans to change the use of the hotel, including demolition, should it come to that.
The troubled hotel closed Sept. 1 and the last 37 residents left. Most of the residents suffered mental and emotional disabilities. Hotel manager Sandy Schade said the aging building, constructed in 1929, was too much of a financial burden to continue.
City and county planning officer Judy Clark will send a notice to the building's owners that a public hearing is scheduled Oct. 14 to consider the city historical designation.
The Pawnee is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lake Maloney resident Liz Evans spoke briefly, urging the commission to do what they can to save the building so it can be restored.
Evan shared her vision, with bus tours staying overnight at the hotel, where they can watch dinner theater and enjoy the historical atmosphere, and shop in small shops, and take city bus rides to other attractions, such as Buffalo Bill Manor/Scouts Rest Ranch, The Golden Spike Visitor's Center, the county historical museum and the 21st Veteran's Memorial, and so forth.