ST. JOSEPH -- After an extensive renovation, a 123-year-old building in downtown St. Joseph has a shiny new look and is ready for a brand new business.

Shannon Wiger of Shannon Wiger & Co. bought the building at the corner of College Avenue and Minnesota Street last summer after noticing a "going out of business" sign in the window while playing with her kids across the street in the park. She tracked down the building's owner and convinced him to sell it to her, and then discovered it was built in 1898 as the Frank Timmers Saloon.

Stearns History Museum

This isn't Wiger's first renovation project involving a very old building.  She says being as true to the original architecture is always her goal.

We work with a very talented brick mason and he took off each and every one of those bricks, cleaned them, and placed them back on the front of the building facade in the same layout that matched the original facade in the photos that we had.  So, that part was really a surprise as we worked through the renovation.

Wiger has also been involved in historical renovations of buildings in downtown St. Cloud with partners, but this is her first project on her own. She says as an alumna of the College of St. Benedict this seemed like the right restoration to go it alone.

Submitted photo

She says the project has been especially gratifying because the building could have easily been torn down to make way for a parking lot.

This building was in really rough shape, probably the worst building I've ever worked on in terms of how far gone it was.  To see it come back as a shining corner now in St. Joseph that we're all so proud of and knowing that another business is going to be there, and add to the community and the economy and the vibrancy there is really rewarding.

Wiger says as she and her family worked on the renovation many St. Joseph residents would stop in and tell her stories about the old building. It opened in 1898 as the Frank Timmers Saloon. It has also been the home of Gary's Pizza, a Mexican restaurant, an ice cream shop, a salon, a pet store, a grocery store, and Shindler's Bar.

Submitted photo

This Friday Wiger's tenant will be moving in. "Near & North Boutique" owner Ann Hudson is opening a store. The St. Joseph location will be called "Hudson and Co." The store will have women's clothing and accessories as well as home decor and gift items featuring local artists and vendors.

Get our free mobile app

St. Cloud area Signature Golf Holes as Chosen by the Golf Course Operators