Downtown Marceline 2021 Year-End Review

Downtown Marceline (DM) is a 501c3 non-profit (not a part of city government) dedicated to the support and improvement of our downtown district. 2021 has been a momentous year with the conclusion of several major projects supporting and protecting our downtown. We would like to share with you some of these successes, 100% funded by donations and fundraising efforts.

Zurcher building

Built in 1902, the Zurcher building is one of the cornerstone buildings in Marceline. Located in a high visibility corner across from the city park, it is one of the most often photographed and painted buildings in town. The building has a long history of serving Marceline from its early days as a bank and Knights of Pythias meeting hall, through its 64 years serving as the Zurcher store. It is believed to be the inspiration for the Coca-Cola Refreshment building on Disneyland’s Main Street USA.

In 2019 a generous benefactor donated the funding to Downtown Marceline to purchase and save the building. The brick structure had developed a significant bulge in its brickwork and was clearly in trouble. Engineering analysis confirmed our worst fears, without significant effort, the building was doomed to collapse or require demolition. Thus began a multi-year effort to save this historic structure.

Completed in 2021, saving the Zurcher building required completely dismantling the Main Street portion of the building, pouring a new foundation, and rebuilding the wall using the original exterior bricks. While additional work is needed on the interior, at this point the building is structurally sound and will be available in the future to continue to support the Marceline community.

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Saving this building would not have been possible for a private business to have accomplished. Using donations and fundraising, Downtown Marceline has expended over $250,000 to purchase and rebuild the exterior of this building. When interior renovations are complete, the expense in saving this historic building will greatly exceed the commercial value. Only a non-profit organization could take on the rescue effort to save this historic building.

121 N Main Street USA (formerly Treasures and Trash Antiques)

Acquired with the Zurcher building, the Treasures and Trash (T&T) building was suffering from severe neglect that was damaging the building. Numerous water leaks were doing structural damage and had ruined the interior of the first floor.

121 N. Main Street improvements |

Downtown Marceline had new roofs and guttering installed, tuckpointed the front façade, canopy repaired, façade painting and rebuilt a portion of a masonry wall to get the building structurally sound and watertight. In conjunction with the Marceline Rotary organization, volunteers spent numerous hours removing water damaged ceilings, wall coverings and floorings.

With the building now structurally sound and watertight, it was ready to return to serving the community. Downtown Marceline is proud that the CoffeeTree Group IT Advisory & Transformation Services has purchased the building. Having preserved this building, it will now support the creation of 50 to 70 new jobs based in our downtown. Interior renovations have begun by the CoffeeTree Group to support their operations.

Saving this building would have been difficult for a commercial company. Downtown Marceline expended over $112,000 in the purchase and stabilization of this building. Significant costs will be expended by the CoffeeTree Group to make the interior serviceable for their business. Without the Downtown Marceline non-profit expending the costs and labor for stabilization, it is unlikely this building would have been commercially viable.

TRIM Grant

Many of the trees that once adorned Main Street USA succumbed to disease, sun scalding, or had to be removed due to public safety issues. Downtown Marceline pursued and was awarded a Tree Resource Improvement & Maintenance (TRIM) Grant in the amount of $14,064 for the replacement, planting, and care of 28 trees on Main Street USA.

The trees were replaced with trees better suited for a main street environment. The new trees will restore a beautiful downtown canopy and create a narrow illusion that will help slow traffic speed and help keep residents, visitors, & pedestrian traffic safe.

The competitive cost-share program was provided and administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation in cooperation with the Missouri Community Forestry Council.

Ripley Park Beautification

Downtown Marceline was proud to partner with local citizens in fund raising for the repainting of the park’s steam locomotive and Sante Fe caboose. These monuments to our railroad heritage were in significant need for repainting to protect them and to continue to beautify our city. While the heavy lifting was done by others, the Downtown Marceline organization was happy to provide them fundraising support as they raised over $29,000 for this effort.

Main Street Beautification

Maintaining an attractive shopping environment is important for any business. Our Design Committee traveled up and down Main Street providing a window washing service to help keep that special shine on our businesses.

Empty store fronts were also decorated with displays to prevent them from detracting from the appearance of our downtown.

Wine Stroll

Our biggest fundraising event every year, the Wine Stroll is always a great time! With live music and 11 vendors from regional wineries, distilleries and breweries, this fantastic event not only provides Downtown Marceline with much needed funds but serves as a great social event for our area. This event brought 570 guests to our downtown district for great food, drink, and music.

Trick or Trot

In the run up to too much Halloween candy, nothing beats a refreshing fun run through the streets of Marceline! This event provides a great opportunity for our kids (young and old!) to get out and enjoy a fall afternoon. Ranging from the highly competitive to the casual stroller, this event has been a fall staple in Marceline for seven years.

Chocolate Walk

This fun event encourages local and regional guests to come visit our downtown businesses. 75 lucky participants received “passports” that allowed them to visit local businesses and receive a free delicious chocolate treat at each location. Events like this help build ongoing foot traffic for our local businesses.

In Conclusion

Downtown Marceline would like to thank all its donors, fundraising participants, and supporters. We are currently developing our 2022 plans and we look forward to your continuing support in 2022!

All the above activities have been funded and supported by folks like yourself. We are always welcoming new members, so we encourage you to visit with us to see how you can help make an impact in our community.

Download the Downtown Marceline 2021 Year-End Review PDF