SEMINOLE, Okla. (KFOR) — A historic building in Seminole is rising from the ashes after the building suffered serious damage from a tornado in May of last year.
The Van Sanford Apartments have been around since 1929, but after the destruction of the tornado, the city almost had no choice but to demolish it.
The rebuild almost didn’t happen. The previous owners of the building didn’t care to do anything to fix it up, and the city almost voted in favor of demolishing the building. However, in the 11th hour, someone stepped in to help.
“Our promise coming in was we’re going to rectify this quickly,” Stuart McDaniel, Co-owner of GURUSTU Communities said.
A promise was made to save a nearly century old building after it suffered severe damage from a tornado 18 months ago.
“It was damaged in the tornado in May of 22,” Sharon Emmitt, Director of Community Development in Seminole said. “The roof had half of the roof ended up in the street and it was hanging on the top by a thread.”
Stuart and Katie always had their eyes on Van Sanford, and knew they needed to do something to help.
“Once the tornado hit, he said, well, what’s happening with the Van Sanford? You mean now that it’s been hit with the tornado, you want it more than you did before? And he said, yeah,” Katie McDaniel, Co-owner of GURUSTU Communities said.
A building that has been around for generations, still getting the recognition and praise for its historic value.
“It is an iconic building for just about all the residents in Seminole,” Emmitt said. “Anybody who drives down Milt Phillips knows the Van Sanford apartments since its inception in ’29.”
Residents are excited to hear that it is being rebuilt, and not torn down.
“I’m glad it’s getting redone, you know, after the tornado and everything,” William Delozier, Seminole resident said.
While they are in the early stages of getting the building back up and running, the partnership between them and the city has been great.
“Once we acquired the building, they really did roll out the red carpet and say, if you’re going to do this, we’re going to go along with you and we’re going to help you succeed,” Stuart said.
Stuart and Katie are currently in the process of securing the historic registry nomination for the building. That will open up the historic tax credit, which they need financially for the rebuild.