Like other river towns, Winona is trying to revitalize its downtown area. But the town’s industrial past makes transforming its downtown a challenge.

“This is a very friendly town, very friendly town. We’re so glad that we came here,” said Robert Howman, a faculty member at Winona State University who recently moved from Green Bay, Wis. “But it isn’t reflected in the buildings.”

Howman said downtown Winona is a hodgepodge of vacant lots, some dilapidated old buildings and newly renovated historic sites.

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By Elizabeth Baier, MPR News, December 14th