It’s been called a white elephant, but its expansive interior and historic architecture make the vacant Wausau Club worth saving—that’s the idea, at least. City officials are seeking new proposals to reinvent the Wausau Club, after initial plans to transform the building stalled.
Mark Goffin of Elk Creek Architectural won’t take the lead on the project, following more than a year of planning to restore the once-popular social club and historic building in downtown Wausau. Goffin’s plans included a gallery, design studio, bakery, cafe, spa and wine bar. Goffin withdrew for reasons unrelated to the project itself, says Chris Schock, interim director of Wausau Planning, Community and Economic Development.
City officials released an updated request for proposals for the club July 28 and are due Sept. 2. A successful redevelopment plan would preserve the historic character of the building while contributing to the downtown environment, Schock says.
The Wausau Club operated as a social club until December 2004 and has been vacant since its closure. Tom and Connie Schuette performed a partial renovation—worth an estimated $2 million—on the building before donating it to the city in 2013. Several city council members at the time vowed to raze the structure unless a viable project materialized within two years.