- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

HUMBOLDT, Iowa (AP) - A park has replaced a blighted and abandoned building that stood for more than a century in the city of Humboldt.

The Parley Finch building was constructed in 1899, and was in a dilapidated state when City Administrator Aaron Burnett noticed it in downtown Humboldt, the Fort Dodge Messenger (https://bit.ly/1KveaCM ) reported.

“It was a burning blight with broken-out windows,” he said. “It was your classic vacant and abandoned building.”

Burnett made the structure’s demolition a priority and worked with others in helping transform the space into a park.

The city moved a statue called, “The Lady of the Mist,” from Taft Park to the new site. It also installed new paths, added landscaping and placed benches at the park that were bought with donations. The project was funded with tax increment financing and a Downtown Urban Renewal Grant.

“This is a big benefit to downtown,” Burnett said. “People sit down, read a book, enjoy the area, that’s exactly what it’s here for.”

A group of volunteers take turns in maintaining the park, and they say it’s all a part of serving the community. Although the park has yet to be officially named, residents like Toni Hood are hoping to honor the original building.

“Hopefully,” she said, “we’ll call it Finch Park.”

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Information from: The Messenger, https://www.messengernews.net


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