- Associated Press - Thursday, March 27, 2014

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission is allowing the removal of a historic building to make way for more casino parking in the western South Dakota gambling town, ending a dispute that has lingered for years and ended up in the courts.

First Gold Hotel first sought to demolish the vacant Sinclair filling station on its property after acquiring it in 2006. The 1927 building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but the hotel says it was heavily damaged by an October 2013 blizzard and is now beyond repair.

“That building was in horrible shape when he took it over,” First Gold Marketing Director Kim Morris said. “We tried to use it as an office for First Gold Hotel. To restore it now would be a replica.”

Supporters of keeping the building say it is rundown only because First Gold Hotel hasn’t lived up to a 2011 agreement with the city to restore the building in exchange for permission to move it to provide for more parking. The agreement came in the wake of a court battle that ultimately reached the state Supreme Court.

The commission voted 4-3 Wednesday to allow for the building to be razed, the Rapid City Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1g3R9Sx ).

“They always have wanted to tear down this building, make no mistake about it,” attorney and former Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Matt Pike said of First Gold Hotel, adding that he was “incredibly saddened” by the commission’s decision.

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Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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