By Lauren Evasic
Meridian Time staff writer
OKEMOS — After 30 years of service, the Travelers Club International Restaurant & Tuba Museum will close during the second week of November, said owner William White.
According to White, there are plans to tear down the building, located on the northwest corner of Hamilton and Okemos roads, as well as several other buildings including White Brothers Music and Triple Goddess Bookstore to construct new buildings for the Douglas J Salon and Day Spa expansion project.
Douglas J President Scott Weaver said the business has been approved to put up their building and that Douglas J Housing Okemos LLC plans to begin demolition spring 2013.
Though the restaurant is set to close, White started an online petition in hopes to reopen.
“We’re always hoping to (reopen), but you never know,” said White.
The petition, which currently needs less than 300 signatures as of Oct. 29, 2012, also aims to save the building next door, the James F. Smiley house, from being knocked down during reconstruction.
“It’s on the Michigan Historic Register,” White said of the James F. Smiley house, which is home to the Triple Goddess Bookstore.
The house was built circa 1870 and approved as a historic site in 1987, said Laura Ashlee, a historian with the State Historic Preservation Office.
According to Ashlee, for a building to be recognized as a historic site, the owner has to document the history and demonstrate why it’s important.
The petition site states that if the petition receives enough signatures and funding, the building can be moved to the Meridian Historical Village.
However, according to Melissa Andresen, the Administrative Assistant at Meridian Historical Village, there is “no chance that it will be moved to the village.”
Andresen said the board of directors at Meridian Historical Village made the decision five years ago when approached by White and reconfirmed it fall 2012 when the topic was brought to their attention again.
Meridian Historical Village, which aims to create an appreciation of local history, has seven historical buildings, according to Andresen, but said the village does not want the James F. Smiley house due to its poor condition.
“It’s too out of shape,” said Andresen. “The discussion to have it moved here was strictly on the part of Will White. He has approached us multiple times, and we have said no multiple times.”