Revitalization of Zurcher building celebrated

Downtown Marceline Board of Directors, community members, and donors attended a ribbon cutting ceremony on Sept. 18, to mark the end of a year long stabilization and revitalization project to save the historic Zurcher building.

Built in 1902, the Zurcher building was in danger of collapse due to foundation issues. On Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, the Downtown Marceline Organization launched the SOS (Save our Stories) Zurcher Campaign to help fund the extensive $200,000 project.

The STAAT company from St. Louis was selected to perform the repairs which included disassembling the entire east face of the Zurcher building. They then excavated the east foundation to determine the cause of the settling. A new foundation was engineered and installed. The east wall was then rebuilt using salvaged historic bricks from the original wall.

Brief remarks praising everyone involved in the project, along with acknowledging that this project would not have been possible without the support of all who donated, were given by Executive Director, Toni Sportsman and Downtown Marceline Board Member, Lee Hoover.

Revitalization of Zurcher building celebrated |

Pictured with the ribbon above are, from left, Hazel Knutson, daughter of Mr. Albert Zurcher and Mr. Zurcher’s granddaughter, Janet Ink. Mr. Albert Zurcher, who purchased the building in 1909, served the community for an astonishing 64 years. He not only sold jewelry, but also eyeglasses, cameras, TV’s and appliances.

During those 64 years of serving the Marceline community, the Zurcher’s made a lasting impact on the community. As indicated in the Centennial Edition Marceline Missouri, Mr. Zurcher’s records indicated that he repaired 45,000 timepieces. Estimates show that he fitted 8,000-10,000 pairs of glasses. As if he wasn’t busy enough, he helped found the Marceline Home Savings and Loan Association, and served as a director over 54 years. Along the way, he served as councilman, mayor, Linn County Road Commissioner, and many other helpful community positions.

Middle, David & Chris Ankeney, benefactors of the SOS (Save our Stories) Zurcher Campaign, business owners and community activists.

Right, Kelly Enyeart, wife of the late Dean Enyeart, who served as the President of Preferred Bank in Marceline. Mr. Enyeart, who was also an active volunteer with Downtown Marceline, supported the organization’s dedication to save the Zurcher building. Mr. Enyeart helped the organization secure the loan needed for the revitalization project.

Downtown Marceline thanks all who have donated to this project so far. We continue to fundraise to finish payment on the exterior work. New efforts will begin shortly to fund the renovation of the interior of the building and return it to serving our community. We look forward to the next installment of the Zurcher story.