ST. CLOUD -- The name "Whitney" is probably one of the most prominent names in St. Cloud's history, and now the building downtown that bears that name is getting a much-needed makeover.

The A.G. Whitney building at 505 West St. Germain Street was bought by Spring Hill Capital and Inventure Properties back in September.

Co-owner Shannon Wiger has done a lot of research about the building and the man. She says the building dates back to around 1880, and Whitney bought it around 1900 for his Land and Loan Company.

He stepped in and rescued the streetcar system, and really expanded it in downtown St. Cloud.  And, he purchased the public utilities, that's actually probably what he's most known for in those early days along with the Land and Loan Company.  So really, his company, he probably sat in this building and powered the first street lights -- all of those firsts for St. Cloud.

Wiger says their goal is to restore the building to as close to its original look as possible.

We have photos of the hardwood floors from the early 1900s and they are still in place, under layers of linoleum, and carpet, and all sorts of things.  They will be beautiful once again.

There are safes on both floors that will be staying as well.

Wiger says some of the buildings downtown have been a bit forgotten over the years, and it is important for their group to remember the people who are responsible for what we have today in St. Cloud.

Every day that goes by that these buildings aren't tended to they get a little bit worse and they deteriorate a little bit more.  Bringing them back really honors our past and teaches us about respect and our traditions.  That's something our group values.  And, it elevates our downtown and our community.

Wiger says they are looking for people who have pictures or stories about the Whitney building.

When it's done, there will be an upper level and lower level office spaces that the companies will lease out.

The building was most recently used as a hair salon.

Spring Hill Capital and Inventure Properties renovated the building next door, the First National Bank Building, in 2016.  All three floors of that building are now filled to capacity with the Downtown Council, the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation, and the Kensington Bank.

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