Lawton's Fairmont Creamery to get facelift

Published: Jul. 7, 2010 at 1:03 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 16, 2010 at 1:06 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. - Many people in Lawton call it a landmark. The Fairmont Creamery was built in 1913 making it one of the oldest buildings in the city. It's been empty for over twenty years while different owners planned to turn it into something again. Now, a new owner said he's finally going to get it finished. He just bought it and he's worked on it every day for a month trying to bring it up to code, so he can actually use it.

He said his permit from the city only gives ninety days, that's until August 26th, to make a laundry list of improvements like plumbing, roofing, and much more. He said that is simply not enough time.

When John Rutherford bought the Fairmont Creamery, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. He said he didn't even know it was on the city's list of rundown properties that are on track for demolition.  He just thought it was a little piece of history he could bring back to life.

"It's beautiful. It's a great building. It has a lot of potential and I'd sure hate to see it removed," said John Rutherford.

For now, he's been planning to turn it into his own garage. But he sees even greater potential down the road. He said he's already put about $80,000 into the project. He's torn down one building, added screens, took out glass blocks, the list goes on, but there's still so much left.

"It's been run down for years and hasn't been used, so I have to enclose it and it has to be brought up to being a respectable building again and I look forward to doing that," he said.

He's even been contacted in the meantime by some pretty well known companies, like Spaghetti Warehouse. They're all interested in the building.

"They said they thought Lawton was a town of about 100,000 people and their business would be really good here, but they want the building like it is. They don't want to change it."

With the city's downtown revitalization project eventually moving south of Gore, that makes the creamery a prime spot. Rutherford said he can't be sure what will be in the landmark spot, but he said, he guarantees he's going to be involved.

Lawton's Neighborhood Services department said as long as Rutherford gets substantial work done on the building, then it is very possible he will get an extension to get the work done.