For 56 years, it is has simply been known as the American Legion Building on Main Street in Paris. Over the years, members of the American Legion Post used it as a base for operations.
Lately, though, activity has waned as has active membership, and now, longtime home for the American Legion Post in Paris is on the auction block.
Lloyd Miller, post commander, said that earlier this year, members took a serious look at finances and decided that the cost of maintaining the building and paying utilities have become more than the post of 65 members can afford.
"It’s just the overhead costs are too much," he said last week following a meeting of post members. "We clear enough money each year to pay the utilities. We’re barely skinning by; we have no money if anything happened."
When it became clear that the building was a threat to the future of the post, Miller started to call members to tell them that after 56 years, it was time to get out from the financial burden the facility presented.
Miller said that over the past several years, activity in the building, which was once thriving, has simply dried up as fewer events take place. The American Legion is not even using the building for monthly meetings, he said, instead conducting the sessions in the basement of the Public Library, which sits across the street.
"It is very difficult now, we have 65 members with only about 10 to 12 who are really active," he said.
Miller said the American Legion post is running an ad in several newspapers seeking bidders:
"Building for Sale by Closed Bid:
Bids are being accepted on a building for sale in Paris, Missouri. The building is approximately 40 feet wide by 90 feet long and is located at 110 North Main. The Building is being offered for sale AS IS, including the tables and chairs inside. Building may be inspected by appointments by calling (573) 231-2288. Bids may be Submitted to P.O. Box 7 Paris, Mo 65275. Deadline for submission of bids is May 1, 2017. Bids will be opened at Building location at 110 North Main on May 3, 2017. All Bidders may increase their bids after highest bid is opened and announced. Owners reserve the right to reject all bids submitted."
Before the American Legion purchased the building, the property served as a movie theater, starting back to the 1930s, Miller said.
"There is a fear from some people in town that the building could be torn down," he said. "Of course, we have no control over that, but a lot of people hope to see the building remain on Main Street."