Last Call at Robbinsdale’s Westphal American Legion
It’s said that all good things must come to an end.
“We’ve been around for 100 years. We built this in 1946,” said Tom Juergens, Westphal American Legion’s post commander. “And it’s an end of an era for Robbinsdale and Westphal American Legion.”
It may be the end of an era, but in this case, you can’t say goodbye without throwing a massive party.
“The weather turned out nice. Everybody had a good time. You can’t ask for more,” said Charles Schoen, a member of the band, the Fabulous Del Counts.”
Saturday evening, hundreds made their way to the bright building painted in the colors of Robbinsdale’s flag for one last drink with friends.
“To see it kind of end like this, it’s pretty sad,” said Robbinsdale Mayor Regan Murphy. “But at the same time, it’s great to see so many people come out to kind of celebrate what the Legion has done for the community.”
While Saturday was certainly a day of celebration, there was an underlying sadness about how things got to this point.
Sold the Property 19 Years Ago
After some financial mismanagement, Legion Commander Tom Juergens said they had to sell the property in 2000.
“We sold the building. And the landlord now, the property’s become a gold mine to him,” Juergens said. “So he’s selling it. So it was sold from underneath our feet. There was nothing we could do.”
In October, the blue and yellow building will meet the wrecking ball. In its place, developers will build a 197 unit market rate apartment complex called Parker Station Flats.
“So I’m saddened, but things have got to move on and i know it,” Juergens said.
Yet before moving on, the large crowd gathered to see a ceremonial lowering of the flag. It was a final gesture in the long history of the building.
However, Juergens says this isn’t the final chapter for the Westphal American Legion. He’s hopeful they’ll soon find a new place for people to gather in Robbinsdale or Crystal.
“Oh there will be a spot. I guarantee that,” Juergens said. “We’ve got a number of people looking for it and some great people helping out.”
The apartment complex that will replace the Westphal American Legion is expected to open in early 2021.
Find more CCX News Top Stories Here