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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Another piece of Rochester’s history is coming down.

The demolition of the former Seneca Foods cannery in southeast Rochester is underway. The Olmsted County Board voted last month to award the bid for the demolition of the over 90-year-old building to Rachel Contracting, which submitted a bid of almost $1.1 million for both the demolition work and the restoration of the famous "ear of corn" water tower at the site.

The county pursued the demolition of the canning plant after a consultant found that it would likely not be eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic places after a study of the structure and its history. The cannery first opened in 1929 and was operated by Reid, Murdoch and Company until it was purchased by Libby Foods in 1949. Seneca Foods acquired the plant in 1982 but eventually shut down production at the site two years ago.

photo courtesy Olmsted County
photo courtesy Olmsted County

It was then purchased by Olmsted County with plans to incorporate the property into Graham Park, formerly known as the County Fairgrounds. The land will be restored to green space pending future development of the property as part of Olmsted County's plans to "revitalize and transform" Graham Park into more of a regional destination.

The iconic water tower was erected at the site in 1931 and is expected to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

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