The recent demolition of an old downtown building fits in with the city of Enid’s downtown plan.

Located on the corner of Southwest Railroad and East Garriott — just to the east of South Grand — the building was part of the Palecek Mills business. It had been corporate offices and a retail store that sold feed, seed and farm and garden supplies.

V. Charlie Palecek, of Norman, said his great uncles, great aunts and grandfather owned the building from around 1935 until it was sold to the city of Enid in 2016.

 “The city had wanted to acquire it as far back as 2009, just to go along with the redevelopment of the area, with the new conference convention center,” he said. “Also, they need to widen the road there to accommodate more traffic, the truck traffic turning off of (U.S.) 412 onto Grand. It’s just basically a redevelopment issue. The building was quite old and really didn’t have adequate parking.

“Of course, you’re sad to see something like that happen, but, you know, for the greater good of the community, it will be a good thing in the long run,” he said. “A lot of people, especially people in their 60s and 70s, maybe even younger, would remember Palecek Mills. That building’s been there, well it stood there almost 100 years. It’s change, and it’s a loss, but hopefully they can do something really nice at that corner to make it an entranceway for downtown Enid.”

The last remaining Palecek Mills structure is the Quonset hut — the round-top building Park Avenue Thrift purchased from Palecek’s uncle in 2009, he said. At one time, the feed milling business — that made flour and marketed and sold it locally — had around four buildings in that downtown area.

“I’m so glad Park Avenue Thrift has it because they turned it into kind of an iconic piece for Enid with that artwork on there,” Palecek said.

City Manager Jerald Gilbert said the city purchased the building specifically because it came open.

“It was an opportunity that came up; it fits in with our downtown plan,” he said.

It took a few months to get bids and remove hazardous materials from the building, Gilbert said.

“We tore it down because it didn’t fit into our long-term plans, and potentially in the future that’s going to be green space property. And any future road work or road widenings, we already have the property we need in that area,” he said.

The city gave the notice to proceed with demolition around March 15, Gilbert said.

“They’ve made good progress, and I think they’re required to be done by Nov. 15. Just judging, from looking at it, I think they’re going to make that,” he said.

Story provided by:  Enid News & Eagle

Written by:  Jessica Miller