The Herring Hotel Friends continue working hard to restore the historic challenge, and to make repairs to the building in downtown Belle Plaine.
To celebrate recent achievements, there will be an Open Lobby Day on Saturday, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, at the hotel.
“Our growth has been possible because of the growing support within our community, county and state,” says Kristine Pope. “We are especially grateful to the Iowa Lincoln Highway Assoc & Save CR Heritage groups. Their alliance with the Herring Hotel groups have opened up many doors and opportunities regarding our project’s growth. Their friendship and devotion are valued deeply by both of our supporting nonprofit groups.”
Currently, says Pope, the Herring Hotel Foundation is working with the city of Belle Plaine to schedule a re-evaluation of the building by a structural engineer.
“Their help with this expense is allowing our group to keep the necessary funds available for the updates needed to our building,” Pope explians. “We can not express our appreciation for their assistance in this area enough. With our covered walkway up and in place, our next step is to now secure our building’s west wall and our roof. Coordinating volunteers, necessary contractors, and securing funding for both of these projects are currently underway. Having our building secured by winter is our goal and will be a huge step forward for our project.”
In addition to the Herring Hotel Foundation, the Herring Hotel Building Alliance continues to educate and share the vast history associated with the Herring. Having been invited this past summer to share the Herring story with National Lincoln Highway members was a privilege and a honor, Pope says.
Planning is also underway for their annual Christmas Dinner event, “Wish You A Herring Christmas,” which will be held on Dec 9th in conjunction with the Belle Plaine Cookie Walk and a Parade of Trees.
More information on these and any other Herring Hotel events can be found on the website; www.herringhotel.org and a Facebook page, Herring Hotel Friends.
While the project’s improvements are cause for some celebration, Pope says there is much work to do, and she hopes more people will become involved.
“Even though support for the Herring Hotel project continues to grow, we can not encourage supporters enough to continue to voice their support to Save The Herring. The road ahead is long, and it will take time. However, in order for it to happen, people have to stand up and support this project verbally, voluntarily, and when possible monetarily. It takes a community coming together to make it happen,” she says.