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Locals work to preserve Mellus Newspapers Building in Lincoln Park

Not too long ago, one of the coolest newspaper names graced the top of 1661 Fort St. The Lincoln Parker. Today, the name no longer stands sentinel and the building sits vacant in downtown Lincoln Park.

However, a group of local preservationists are trying to bring some of the glory days back to what is commonly referred to as the Mellus Newspapers Building.

"There's actually a lot of really good uses for it," says Leslie Lynch-Wilson, president of the Lincoln Park Preservation Alliance.

She can see the building serving as home to new small business, such as deli or bagel shop. One of the more intriguing ideas is using it as an incubator for small businesses, such as a bead shop or computer repair firm.

"For some of those little businesses starting out, all they need is a small 10 by 10 foot space," Lynch-Wilson says.

The 1940s building is on the National Register of Historic Places and is an intrinsic part of the downriver suburb's history. Not only did it serve as the home of Lincoln Park's local newspaper, the owner of that paper William Mellus (whom the building is named after) was a good friend with automotive entrepreneur Preston Tucker.

Local preservationists think saving it and the adjacent Pollak (named after Pollak Jewelers) building are an important step toward preserving downtown Lincoln Park's heritage. The Mellus Newspapers Building still has its original porcelain enameled Moderne commercial building exterior while the Pollak Building retains its terrazzo entrance sidewalk.

Source: Leslie Lynch-Wilson, president of the Lincoln Park Preservation Alliance
Writer: Jon Zemke
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