Rochester Heritage Preservation Commission hears from public on historic landmarks at Silver Lake Park
(ABC 6 News) – The Rochester Heritage Preservation Commission spent Tuesday night hearing what people think about the historical significance of Silver Lake Park.
The Commission could not come to a decision after recommending several motions. None of those passed so they motioned to table this until the next meeting.
The majority of the discussion Tuesday night was around the dam at Silver Lake and whether or not it should be included in the list of historical structures.
“Meet you at Silver Lake, right? It’s something that we just identify as being a distinct part of the community,” Molly Patterson-Lundgren, Historic Preservation & Urban Design Coordinator said.
Rochester residents spoke out saying the dam should be included in this approval of historic landmarks since it holds the historic shape of Silver Lake.
“Yes, there are some great features we want to enhance and add to the park but do not want to upset the historical features,” Rochester Parks & Recreation Director Paul Widman said.
The current dam at Silver Lake, while in the same location as the original, was actually reconstructed in 1990. The original dam was built in the 1930s and the majority of the funding came from the Federal Relief Programs from the Great Depression era. Silver Lake Park has several features that resemble that era, such as the stone picnic shelter and the pedestrian bridges.
“It’s a little more unusual to have a public park designated like this but it’s definitely significant,” Michael Koop, Historic Preservation Specialist with the State Preservation Office, said.
Members of the commission said hearing from the public has given them more perspective, which is what they wanted out of this meeting.
“I ride my bike along or around Silver Lake at least two to three times a week, all year round,” Rochester resident Marty Cormack said.
Once the commission can come to a decision, it will go to the city council for review.
The next Heritage Preservation Commission meeting is scheduled for Oct. 25.