Developer expresses interest in Salem building

Salem developer Rodney Herron

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – The future of the former Butler Art Museum on East State Street was the topic of discussion at a Salem Council Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday night.

Damage from falling bricks and a wall collapse put the building in bad shape after the demolition of the Tan-Fastic building last month.

“The Butler building. It is badly damaged. The cost of repairs are quite a bit. There is a hole the size of a minivan, maybe a couple minivans. But it is need of something being done,” local developer Rodney Herron said.

Herron said he wouldn’t mind taking on the project to do something with the building.

“As a developer, I would love to have an opportunity to purchase the building maybe,” Herron said.

Salem Mayor John Berlin also has made clear he would like to see the building stay.

“I would like to see the building rehabbed and brought back to a state of use, perhaps not for the Butler. It all depends on how the new owner, if there is a new owner, would choose to remodel it. Certainly, we would like to see that building stay in downtown Salem,” Berlin said.

A decision on what will happen with the building will be decided at the next meeting on Tuesday.

The mayor said there is one thing he hears from Salem residents.

“Primarily, I think they are focused on seeing all the demolition that is going on stop. It is hard to tell when that may stop, when we still have buildings that need demolished,” Berlin said.

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