Historic Northfield hotel declared a total loss after devastating November fire

The owners of a historic hotel in downtown Northfield, Minn., say it has been declared a total loss after it was heavily damaged in a November fire.

On Friday, Rebound Enterprises announced the determination of the insurer that covered the Archer House, according to the Northfield News.

Brett Reese, the company’s managing partner and chairman, said the findings mean the 144-year-old hotel cannot be saved.

Reese said planning for the site was going forward and could include a new hotel, restaurant, apartments or condominiums.

The Nov. 12 fire started in a smoker in the Smoqehouse barbecue restaurant that was housed in the Archer House along with other hospitality and retail businesses. Flames spread through the walls into the upper floors of the brick building, and firefighters had a difficult time containing the fire in such an old structure.

The portion of the building above the Smoqehouse partially collapsed, and more of the structure recently failed after standing open to the elements for six months.

The Archer House River Inn, a grand four-story red brick building featuring French Second Empire architecture, opened in 1877 in historic downtown Northfield on the banks of the Cannon River.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the inn featured 36 restored guest rooms and suites and is owned by Rebound, a Northfield-based company that in 2019 opened the Celeste Hotel in downtown St. Paul.

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