I'll get right to the point. If no investors have done anything with this building in over 36 years, it's NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

It's time to tear down the old Rath Packing Company Administration Building.

I don't say these things lightly, I completely understand its historical value and how much Rath Packing Company meant to this community.

In 2008, the building was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places  which does make it even harder to look to the future. Just because it's torn down, doesn't mean we have to forget about it. For anyone that worked there, or had a family member or a friend that worked there, they can pass down their memories from generation to generation to keep the legacy alive. We can also take as many photos as possible and document its long and rich history.  But, there comes a point, when it's just time to move on.

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Waterloo's Community Planning & Development Director Noel Anderson stated that:

"Many people want to preserve the past for these types of historic structures. But if you don’t have a use or purpose of the renovation, it is difficult to make it economically viable." 

Anderson went on to say that, "it is definitely a historic landmark. But it could also be documented for preservation purposes. As it would be very expensive to try to restore.".

When asked if it has been determined by an expert that the building is structurally sound and could be renovated...Anderson responded: "different developers have looked at building with architects and structural staff. Some believe it could be renovated." He added that, "developers have looked at it for housing, data center set-ups, (and other) mixed use."

So what's it going to cost to tear it down? Anderson estimates the demolition cost to be somewhere between $400,00-$600,000.  Anderson mentioned that: "We would look for funding sources, based on the (possible) reuse.  Generally, we would use city bonds to fund demolition, if no other sources were discovered.

Scroll down for more about the history of Rath Packing Company and a photo gallery that tells the story of this once-great meat packing giant.

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In its heyday, the Rath Packing Company employed 8,500 people. It's still thought of fondly by many as what helped put Waterloo "on the map" and giving many area families a good income to raise their families. When rumors of bankruptcy started in 1979, the company became employee-owned in 1980. Despite many attempts to save it and massive amounts of money invested (from employees and loans from the city of Waterloo) all of those efforts ultimately failed, leading to its demise and liquidation in 1985.


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