Winds Paradox acquired the Esther Building in 2015. This brick building is another beloved building of the Merrill community, located centrally in the city at 104 Blaine Street. It is full of local history, being built in 1914, then later occupied (1918) by the Tomahawk Shoe Company during the leather tanning heyday. The Marathon Shoe Company purchased the building for its leather tanning and shoe factory operations. The Hansen Glove Factory of Milwaukee Wisconsin purchased the building in 1943 to run its northern operations for many decades, throughout the years of World War II, through 1962. Merrill Sheet Metal Works housed its operations here from 1969 to 1990, followed by Northern Radiator and Custom Design and Cooling.
My favorite local stories come from both buildings, but I have heard many stories of women, then as young teenage girls, had sewn gloves at Esther. And, I have been blessed with gifts of Hansen gloves and even pairs of partial, fashionable, genuine ladies Hansen gloves.
The building itself is uniquely constructed in that each of the three stories sits slightly inside or indented upon the level below it.
The first story, at ground level, is a true commercial space with finished spaces for office, show room and foyer plus a wide open studio / storage space. The second and third floors are one residential unit, eclectic in layout and design. The second floor space includes a workshop spanning the width of the building, brightened by windows on both sides. The third floor includes bedrooms and a master en suite. Throughout, ones soul is immediately touched by the warm, industrial feel.
Personally, the Esther Building always represented truth to me. I look upon the building as teaching me about my own truths. Esther made Winds Paradox a business.
The Esther Building proudly presents as its tenants, the Merrill Karate Club.