The historic, impressive,beautiful downtown Linden
Union Block Building, before the fire!!
The Union Block on the evening of
May 18th, 2007.
THE DAY AFTER THE FIRE!
On the night of May 18, 2007, the 137 year-old historic, Union Block Building was destroyed by fire. The town was devastated and the face of Linden, Michigan was changed forever. It was Linden's most well-known landmark, and loved by all!! After the fire, building restoration experts agreed that the facade/front of the building could be saved and the building restored, but it would be costly. A decision was made to demolish the remains and it was sadly razed in July of 2007. We lost a valuable piece of history that night. Although, it is gone...it will NEVER be forgotten! Thanks for the memories, Union Block. We miss you! The old Union Block is no longer with us, but in 2019/2020 a new Union Block Building was constructed/opened on the same site, where the old majestic red giant once stood. It is a welcome addition to the town of Linden, and a new era for the future generations of Linden.
(after weeks of investigations, the exact cause was not determined, fortunately NO lives were lost during this tragic event)
As many of you know, shortly after the Union Block fire in
May of 2007, Val Caruso....owner of Tea & Company in Holly, collected donations ($700) from various Holly merchants in a show of sympathy and compassion,
from "one small historic community to another"!
The letter that was with the check, stated that the money be used "in whatever way it will help our community heal and rebuild". With the recent "Welcome to Linden" structure being built, on the former Union Block site, the Linden Mills Historical Society is proud to announce that the money from the Holly merchants, will be used to obtain a historical marker commemorating Linden's 150th birthday, in 2021!!! This plaque will be located near the entrance to the historic mill bldg. The Society has been waiting for the right opportunity to utilize the money, and we feel this is a very appropriate way!
Once again, we would like to THANK Val Caruso and the merchants of Holly who gave so generously. Words can never express, what your support meant, during this terrible tragedy that took place in downtown Linden! It truly reflected what the human spirit is capable of, and we will always be touched and thankful for the Holly merchants act of kindness and for Val, who spearheaded the donation drive.
With sincere gratitude to the following 27 Holly merchants:
BACK OF THE CLOSET
BALCONY ROW ANTIQUES
THE GIRLS OF ELEMENTS DAY SPA
HOLLY ANTIQUES ON MAIN
HOLLY ART & FRAMING
HOLLY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
HOLLY CROSSING B&B
PIGEON IN THE PARLOR
TEA & COMPANY
WATER TOWER ANTIQUES
NOVEMBER 2008 - FORMER UNION BLOCK PROPERTY SOLD!!
The suspense is over!! A press conference was held in downtown Linden on the former Union Block site, November 3rd, 2008, to formally announce the sale of the property. The new owners are Sarah Starrs-LaFontaine, Ryan La Fontaine, & Mike LaFontaine!! It was a joyous, festive occasion complete with the Linden marching band, residents, business owners, Linden Mills Historical Society members, City officials and other dignitaries, and of course, the proud new owners of the historic Linden land. (The LaFontaines have several car dealerships in the metro-Detroit area and ties to Linden.) It could take 2-5 years to develop the property and the LaFontaine's will be talking to the community to see what they would like to have on the corner of Bridge & Broad Streets, for the next 100+ years. (The new building would have to go before the Linden Historic District Commission for approval)
UNION BLOCK PROPERTY SOLD
It was recently (January 20, 2017) announced that Linden Orthodontist, Dr. Wax, has purchased the Union Block property, from the Lafontaine's, who purchased the property, after the fire.
Please click on the following link to read more about this!
LATEST UPDATE FROM TRI-COUNTY TIMES
(top photo by Ken Huisjen, from InfoMI.com) (Linden fire photo from WNEM TV5 website)