The city will hold a public meeting this month to discuss how the former Red Cedar Inn building will be used.
The city purchased the historic Red Cedar Inn building, 1047 East Osage, in 2017 to be used as a visitor center and history museum.The city paid $290,000 for the structure and grounds, including $165,000 from the general fund and $125,000 from tourism taxes.
The city has entered into a contract with the architectural firm of Patterhn Ives LLC to devise a plan for the use of the building and the needed renovations for that use.
Officials now want members of the local history community and members of the public to meet with the architects to discuss the future of the building.
The public input will help architects design a formal plan for the building and determine the cost of renovation.
Tentative plans include using the structure to house travel brochures and information for Route 66 motorists as well as visitors to Pacific.
Plans also include moving the former Meramec Valley History Museum collection, now stored in the Community School, into the building for a permanent display.
A third use involves moving the former Meramec Valley Genealogical and Historical Society (now city genealogy and history committee) archives from Pacific City Hall to the building, where it would be available for family history research.
The Red Cedar Inn was built in 1932 to serve as a dining stop for motorists on the new Route 66. The Smith family operated the Inn as a dining room for 75 years.
The building attracted visitors, from across the U.S. and from Europe, who were traveling Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles.
The public meeting will seek public input into the future of the multiuse building.
Alderman Herb Adams has been an advocate for a plan that involves users and visitors.
“The people who are going to use the building may come up with ideas that neither architect nor ofﬁcials have seen,” Adams said. “We have to get this right.”
If the public believes in the designed use of the building the next focus is how to pay for renovation of a historic building.
“The Red Cedar was sold to the citizens as the right place for our visitor, history and genealogy center based on its historic value,” Adams said. “We have to keep that history in mind and start with renovation and reuse by examining the structural integrity of the building, even down to the origin of the logs.”
The date of the meeting is to be announced.