Broadway City Hall Project

The History

In the 1880s Downtown Carver served as the commercial hub in the area.  Back then Carver was home to three doctors, a lawyer, a real estate and loan office, a flour mill, a grain elevator, six general stores, one carding mill, a feed mill, two farm implement dealers, two drug stores, at least two brick yards, two hardware stores, two lumber yards, a grocery store, a brewery, two watch makers, two carriage and wagon makers, a meat market, a photographer, two harness makers, a tailor, a veterinary surgeon, two boot and shoe makers, a milliner, a bakery,  a newspaper, a bank, a plow factory, six saloons, several blacksmith shops, and three hotels.

The Central Hotel in 1897 at 4th and Broadway

As it is today, the corner of 4th and Broadway was at the heart of Downtown Carver back in the late 1800s.  In 1862, Sebastion Ohnesorg operated the Lager Bier Saloon…selling two glasses of “bier” for five cents.  In 1897, the corner became home to the Central Hotel, owned and operated by Richard Neunsigner.  For nearly 100 years the corner of 4th and Broadway served as a stable, saloon, and hotel.  

When the Central Hotel closed in the early 1940s the building went into a state of disrepair.  Although much of Carver’s heritage has been preserved, the history of the Lager Bier Saloon and Central Hotel gave way to demolition.  In 1956, the former saloon and hotel was torn down and replaced with the building that we all know today as Village Hall.

Although the boom of the late 1800s has since faded, Carver, unlike most cities, has preserved much of its heritage.  In 1980, Downtown Carver became one of the first historic districts in Minnesota to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Carver Historic District includes eighty-seven buildings and four structures of historical significance from 1850-1925, with respect to early river town settlement, commerce, dwelling places, and architecture.  In 2005, Carver attained Certified Local Government status by the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office.

Project Update

In April, the City Council selected as their “preferred choice” the construction of a new City Hall on the existing City Hall/Village Hall site located at 316 Broadway.  The selection was the result of a Concept Phase involving two task force groups working to select a site and develop a preliminary design for a community space in Carver.  Although not originally developed as an option by the task force groups, the culmination of their work and the feedback collected from residents led to the selection of a new building on the existing City Hall/Village Hall site on Broadway.

As a follow-up to the Community Space Task Force work, a Community Stakeholder Design Session was held to develop design principles for the new building.  One of the most impactful outcomes of the design session was the inclusion of a commercial kitchen as an amenity for the large  multi-purpose room.  This concept, along with the other developed design principles by stakeholders, were used by the Building Committee and Wold Architects to develop a floor plan and exterior elevations for the building. 

The preliminary design features a main level multi-purpose room, which could accommodate nearly two-hundred (200) occupants.  The main level also includes a commercial kitchen, restroom facilities, and a lobby.  The second floor space includes office space, conference rooms, lobby, and City Council Chambers.  During the design process, the building floor plan increased in size from 8,520 sq. ft. to 10,468 sq. ft.  That said, the proposed space is still smaller than the footprint of the existing City Hall/Village Hall currently located at 316 Broadway. 

The City’s Heritage Preservation Committee is currently reviewing preliminary building elevations, with their review likely concluding by late November.  In addition, final revisions are being made to the floor plan, leading the way to a review of the final floor plan and elevations by the City Council in December.   

In order to move forward with the Broadway City Hall Project, the City Council will also be asked to consider the issuance of Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) bonds to finance construction and other project costs.  The City Council will be presented with preliminary financial information on the Broadway City Hall Project at their next meeting on November 20.

Upcoming Schedule:

Review Preliminary Financing Structure for Capital Improvement Plan Bonds
November 20, 2017 – Council Meeting

Newsletter Information / Website Update
December 2017

Establish a Public Hearing to Consider the Issuance of Capital Improvement Plan Bonds
December 4, 2017 – Council Meeting

Approve City Hall Design
December 18, 2017 – Council Meeting

Newsletter Information / Website Update
January 2018

Hold a Public Hearing to Consider the Issuance of Capital Improvement Plan Bonds for the Broadway City Hall Project
January 16, 2018 – Council Meeting

Comments and questions related to the Broadway City Hall Project may be sent to Brent Mareck, City Manager, at or by phone at (952) 448-8737.