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Old Hotel to get Transplant from Other Historic Kent Building

Former C.L. Gougler headquarters, to be demolished, will donate woodwork, fixtures

One soon to be demolished historic Kent landmark will help give new life to another historic Kent building.

Some light fixtures and oak molding and trim from the former C.L. Gougler and Machine Co. headquarters on Lake Street — now vacant and owned by Furukawa Rock Drill USA — will be salvaged from the building before it's demolished and used to restore parts of the old Kent hotel.

Jeff Crane, president of Furukawa Rock Drill USA, said he was happy to donate the usable materials to Ron Burbick, the owner of the old hotel, to be used in its restoration.

"The architectural period is similar," Crane said.

The old hotel was built in 1919, and Crane said the Gougler headquarters, built by Charles L. Gougler, rose around the same time as the hotel.

Crane said he wanted to offer to Burbick whatever could be salvaged from the building, which he hopes to have crews razing before the end of 2011. Furukawa's Japanese parent company has given the go ahead for demolition of several buildings on the Lake Street property. FRD bought the remnants of the Gougler company and its complex in 1990.

The Gougler building itself is historic for its role as one of Kent's largest manufacturers. At its peak, C.L. Gougler and Machine operated 10 different plants across Kent and employed 1,500 people.

Burbick said he will be able to repurpose most of the Gougler building's art-deco light fixtures for the old hotel.

"We’re really going to totally disassemble Charlie Gougler’s offices, conference room and another office over there," Burbick said. "That will become the new home of the (Kent) chamber of commerce."

Burbick said the chamber, which plans to relocate to the old hotel once restoration is finished, was going to move into three offices almost the exact same size as the Gougler offices he's salvaging.

"So it’s really a perfect fit," he said. "These three offices are really nice oak."

Crane said he'd like to send along a framed portrait or sketch of Gougler with the woodwork so the donation is noted as part of the restoration.

The salvage-to-restoration effort is one Burbick would like to see duplicated as he works to restore the old hotel, which he last week.

"We hope to be able to use as much as we can from wherever, as long as it fits, obviously," he said. "There’s two or three other pieces of buildings that I have my eye on that we hope to be able to take and salvage and use in the old hotel."

As part of the hotel sale, Burbick said he would invest between $500,000 and $750,000 of his own money in the building, which will be owned by his non-profit. The actual restoration is estimated to cost around $3.6 million — excluding purchase price — and Burbick hopes to raise $3 million from other non-profit and community based organizations, and a fund also will be established at so residents can donate any amount to the restoration.

Burbick will make his first official, public request for support for the restoration at a Kent Rotary meeting today.

"Surprisingly I’ve already raised over a quarter of a million dollars ... I can’t divulge the donors yet," he said.

Randy Durant November 22, 2011 at 12:49 PM
This is just the beginning down the long road to relevance. Anyone can order factory direct, and quite often...rightly so. Here though, is an insight to the way of the mind of a developer with vision...an idea that not only extends employment for workers on this project, but lends credence to the fact that Burbick is strictly about doing the best job he can to help preserve the salvageable history of Kent.
Marilyn Sessions November 22, 2011 at 01:15 PM
What a tremendous idea! A great plan that just keeps getter better - Outstanding!
Elizabeth November 23, 2011 at 10:36 AM
my prespective sees a wealthy land hoarding developer that has spent his fortune with no profit or return but continues to grease the palms of the local administration to land grab a property for which his does not have the funds to develop or the ability to finance. the city has painted a picture as the white knight coming to the rescue but come to find out the city is losing over 350k dollars on a sale and the white knight is only putting up 40k towards the purchase with the remaining due at a later date. not a back room deal? i will guarantee the city forgives the balance of the loan! real developers would have lined up around the corner of the building for a chance to purchase at the favored price let alone crumbs for the down payment. prior to this point the local papers had reported the city's engineer had certified & testified the property is a public safety hazard and should be razed but the artifical buyer is raising funds without a plan or certified documents stating the property is sound. sounds like a plan ("whisper" a back room deal from months or years ago) drummed up & designed years ago when the city administration promised burbick the building for free? now it's time to fulfill the promise! in my opinion, the city did not buy the property because they wanted too. it was purchased as a settlement and probably because was city was guilty and not in the admirable position and assuming serious liability.
Matt Fredmonsky November 23, 2011 at 02:02 PM
Readers, Please not you are in violation of our terms of use by not posting comments under your real name, and as such we are within our rights to remove your posts. You can find a link to our terms of use at the bottom of this story page.
Nick Hernandez November 23, 2011 at 09:10 PM
Wow! This is great! It will be very nice to know that the Kent Hotel won't be the big eyesore of the downtown. My hats off to Mr Burbick!
David Badagnani November 24, 2011 at 02:49 AM
Is this a new policy or just newly enforced? I can recall reading dozens if not hundreds of comments left by pseudonymic usernames, including many mean-spirited ones under a single initial, over the last few months at Kent Patch, but nothing was ever said. If real names are necessary, why were the non-real-name user names even allowed to be created in the first place?
KentCitizen007 November 24, 2011 at 03:29 PM
David, This is enforced when ever you say anything negative about the City of Kent or Matt does not agree. Don't speak the truth about Kent on KentPropaganda (aka KentPatch. )
Matt Fredmonsky November 24, 2011 at 04:16 PM
I have generally only enforced our terms of use in extreme violations: profane language or personal attacks. Generally, I've let people commenting behind fake names continue to comment because I welcome and value all opinions. However, there comes a time when one should stand up for what they believe and stand behind what they say and not hide behind some fake name. David comments, and I don't personally always agree, but I still enjoy hearing what he has to say. "KentCitizen," why don't you stop hiding?
Matt Fredmonsky November 24, 2011 at 07:36 PM
A comment was removed for use of profanity.
MOST HATED PERSON ON PATCH November 24, 2011 at 07:38 PM
hahahahah one word. c'mon matt......sad, very sad.
MOST HATED PERSON ON PATCH November 24, 2011 at 07:49 PM
lemme see if i can remember what i wrote without using the "bad words" hello george carlins ghost! it has been for years bad practice to use your real name on the internet. the internet is not a "safe" place for you to be using your real name especially in a forum like this where everyone knows everyone. (small town rules) ie: i know who "David Badagnani" is what if i was a real jerk and hunted him down and harassed him in real life for his views/opinions? yeah i'd be scared too. this rule is "insert mildly offensive word here" made up by AOL the parent company of Patch and has no legitimate standing other than "they say so" my opinion are just that and whether they sit behind a pseudonym or not has no real bearing on them or the situation. censoring the internet is wrong. there are no rules on the internet, never have been. i can't really recall the rest of my argument now that it's been deleted but i will say that i couldn't care less if the hotel was a backroom deal or not. it will be restored and useful again and that's a lot more than most other cities can say about their abandoned buildings.
MOST HATED PERSON ON PATCH November 24, 2011 at 07:58 PM
everyone feel better now that the world is censored from one little "cuss word" ? see ya around "Matt Fredmonsky" if that is your real name....
Maureen Drinkard November 25, 2011 at 02:36 PM
I am very grateful that the resources are being reused - both the hotel and the woodwork. Bravo on all! And - - -I unabashedly love super ultra local news I get from Kent Patch too. Without them working as hard as they do I would feel much less connected to my new community. Thanks guys! Maureen Drinkard

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