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Backside of Prairie Arts Center demolishedTell North Platte what you think
Photo by George Lauby
View of demolition, Tuesday morning
Courtesy Photo­Image
Conceptual picture of the back entrance, sculpture garden and second floor deck, when complete.

The back side of the Prairie Arts Center building is biting the dust, part of the ongoing renovation of the former 1913 Federal Building downtown.

The west side of the building will be history in a few days. It will be replaced by a narrower new building, a sculpture garden, a new entrance plus an upstairs balcony that people can walk onto from a reception room on the second floor.

“This is one of those deals. Sometimes you have to go north to go south,” said Gene Gilsdorf, who keeps the news media informed of the restoration.

An enclosed loading dock on the ground floor will provide a place for artworks to be moved in and out without exposure to the weather, Arts Council board member Wava Best said.  

After years of fundraising, renovation of the old building began in the summer 2012. A new elevator was installed, along with new staircases. The basement was renovated, thanks to the efforts of many volunteers, and is now used for art classes.

The ground floor will be renovated this winter, Best said. Bids are being accepted to remodel the entire floor.  

Another major fundraising push is in development stage, aiming to raise enough money to completely restore the second and third floors of the building, Best said.

The 101-year-old building sits squarely at the corner of Fifth and U.S. Highway 83/Jeffers St.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 8/12/2014
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