The downtown La Crosse skyline is significantly different than it was 25 years ago. Some of the construction is new, but many projects involve retaining the historic character of existing buildings.
The Charmant Hotel is one of those projects. Another recent renovation is happening on Fourth and Main in the old Doerflinger building. And, there's another significant restoration underway, also part of the city's history.
That project is sitting just west of Copeland Park on the river. What you'll see there is the skeleton of the Julia Belle Swain Steamboat.
John Desmond is the president of the Save the Julia Belle Swain Foundation. His goal is docking the boat at Riverside Park later this summer so you can see the progress. Desmond wants to make some test runs at that time, with a goal of returning the Julia Belle to service by next Spring.