Historic preservationists are trying to find a new use for a more-than century old building in downtown Quincy.
The large, three-story stone building at the corner of 4th and Main Streets was built in 1888 as the city’s first public library.
It recently served as the Gardner Museum of Architecture and Design until the museum lost its funding a few years ago.
The Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County now owns the building. It is seeking proposals on what to do with it.
Travis Brown is Executive Director of Quincy’s Historic Downtown Business District.
“We feel that the building has a lot of potential and this is a way to put all of the options on the table and see what is going to make the most sense for the building, the historical society, and the community,” said Brown.
Brown’s organization will review the proposals, which are due in late May, for the historical society, which has the final say.
“(It is) really looking to find some positive outcome that keeps the building as some sort of public/private use. Since that building was built… it has been open to the public in some form or another. We want to find a way to continue that tradition, but still make the building not a revenue loser for the historical society,” said Brown.
Brown said he could see a wide variety of uses for the building, just hopefully not residential use.
“Residential is probably our biggest need in the downtown… but this is not the building for that.”
The city of Quincy is also accepting development proposals for a roughly 20,000 square foot lot across the street from the former museum.
That is where the Newcomb Hotel previously stood, before it was destroyed by fire in 2013.