Cadillac Veterans of Veterans Affairs will relocate the Octagon building to a new home at Veterans Community Park

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The Octagon Building in Cadillac has been around since the early 1900s, serving as a community space during county fairs.

“Originally, around 1906, the building was constructed as part of the fairgrounds,” said Save the Octagon Building volunteer Barbara Wolfe VanLaeken. “At that time it was called the Floral Hall, and at some point, because of its shape, it began to be called the Octagon Building. During fair week, that’s when- there you would have a lot of your exhibits there, so the flowers or the pie making, all the 4H kind of stuff.

But now, a hundred years later, it’s taking on new life, thanks to Cadillac Veterans Serving Veterans, Inc.

“It was within 2 weeks of its demolition,” said Roger Bandeen of Cadillac Veterans Serving Veterans, Inc. “We put forward the idea that the organization Veterans Serving Veterans, Inc. would buy the building for $1 and the would move to the Veterans Serving Veterans Park.

The plan is for the Octagon Building to become a year-round event center.

The construction could take about 3 to 5 years.

“We’re going to bring everything we can to the park, all the interior panels and cornices,” Bandeen said. “We will store them under tarps until they are ready for use.”

Volunteers dismantle the building piece by piece.

“We’re inside removing old business billboards and removing some of the cornice work,” VanLaeken said. “We removed the dome a few weeks ago.”

Veterans at the Veterans Service plans to restore parts of the building and upgrade others.

“The signs are in a pretty rough state, we want to save the signs because we want to duplicate the exact font and artwork that’s on those signs, and get all of those signs back to how they were originally,” Bandeen said. “We will use the same dimension boards and fishtail boards, clapboards, but we will do it in cement boards instead of cedar board so it will last forever.”

For the group Save the Octagon Building, the Octagon’s new home is exactly what they were looking for to bring the building back to life.

“Over the years he deteriorated and he couldn’t really stay here anymore,” VanLaeken said. “It’s so great that Roger came with the group of vets to save us.”

The vets are looking forward to having a space for the community that is so special in the area.

“Many members of the community have family members who worked on this building,” Bandeen said. “It will be there hopefully for at least 100 years.”

To follow their progress on the Octagon Building project, you can follow the Save the Octagon Building Facebook page and Cadillac veterinarians at the service of veterinarians Facebook page.

To make a donation, you can go online at Cadillac Area Community Foundation website and specify that you would like your donation to go to the Octagon Building.

You can also mail a check to Veterans Serving Veterans, Inc. at:

Box 634

Cadillac, MI 49601

Memo: Octagonal Building

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