A Public Hearing Helps Determine the Fate of an 100-Year-Old Detroit Lakes Landmark

The Pavilion in Detroit Lakes has hosted events in the city for over 100 years

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. —When you think of summer nights in Detroit Lakes, most people will mention a memory out on the Pavilion.

“I just remember when I was a much younger person going down to the Pavilion to go to dances on the weekend, and boy there were a lot of great bands that played at the Pavilion back in the old days and so that’s probably my fondest memory,” mayor Matt Brenk said.

The Pavilion is considered a landmark in Detroit Lakes, having hosted events in the city for over 100 years. However in recent years, the historic building has become an ongoing maintenance issue for the city with rotting wood and a decaying foundation.

“Unfortunately it’s getting old, starting to get into some disrepair and there’s some issues,” Brenk said. “The sidewalks around the Pavilion are sloped towards the building, so we’re getting a lot of rain water and storm water that’s draining towards the building. It’s just getting old and costing us a lot of money to keep it up and at some point we’re going to have to build a new building.”

But not everyone in the community agrees with what to do with the Pavilion or the area around it. Suggestions from the community vary from adding larger, straighter sidewalks better suited for runners and wheelchair accessibility, to giving the entire area a more beach-like feel. Regardless, mayor Brenk ensures the pavilion will be included.

“Our plan is going to be to have a pavailion there,” Brenk added. “How we do it and when we do it is really up in the air. It could be at some point the council decides to do a major rehabilitation to the existing building. It doesn’t mean we have to tear it down and build a new building.”

If the plan is approved, the West Lake Drive plan will become a part of the city’s updated Comprehensive Plan.

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