The Pagoda Has Left the Building

Elena Montanye, photos by Luong Huynh

A piece of Eau Claire’s history was removed the morning of Thursday, May 22 when business and community members came together to extract the iconic pagoda from the former Woo’s Pagoda restaurant on Hastings Way. Although the pagoda will no longer be contributing to the Eau Claire skyline, all is not lost! The Chippewa Valley Museum has taken the pagoda under their wing and plans to preserve it for years to come.

According to the CVM, the pagoda, which has been a part of Eau Claire for nearly 65 years, was gifted to the museum in exchange for its removal. Despite extensive planning, CVM Director Susan McLeod said that there was no way for anyone to know whether the pagoda removal would be possible until it was attempted. As you can see in our photos, the awesome crew made the project look like a piece of cake.

The pagoda is currently being held in temporary storage at Banbury Place, as, at almost 20 feet tall, the structure is a bit too large to put inside the Carson Park museum. Fortunately, CVM officials plan to renovate the museum entrance and build an outdoor seating area that will make an ideal new home for the historical and well-loved pagoda.

BONUS: Listen to the cool segment Wisconsin Public Radio
had on the Pagoda, complete with vintage photos!

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