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Published July 14, 2012, 08:22 PM

Hundreds show up to give Kirkbride building a hug

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) -- What better way to save something important to you than show a little love. The old Kirkbride building in Fergus Falls got just that today. More than 400 people showed up for a flash mob to give the building one big hug.

Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV) -- What better way to save something important to you than show a little love. The old Kirkbride building in Fergus Falls got just that today. More than 400 people showed up for a flash mob to give the building one big hug.

As hundreds of people walk through the 120 year old grounds of the Regional Treatment Center, making their way to the building, they all have one goal in mind - to save the Kirkbride.

Phyllis Scharnberg - Fergus Falls: "It would just keep our community unique, and we need things like that, we need to draw in the tourist to come into our community."

Jeremy Fischer - Fergus Falls: "I believe in urban redevelopment, and stuff, and I just think we can do something with this and help save it."

The RTC is one of a dwindling number of asylums built under the 19th-century that is still standing, organizers hope to keep it that way.

Jean Roen - Friend of the Kirkbride: "Awareness, public awareness that this building is here and it's worth saving, and it is for sale."

The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings and is a landmark tourist attraction. Friend of the Kirkbride Jean Roen says it would be a sin to tear it down.

Jean Roen: "It would be crime, a total crime for it to be destroyed."

Another friend of the Kirkbride, Laurie Mullen, is helping people make their way around the massive building hand in hand, making it possible to hug the Kirkbride.

Laurie Mullen - Friend of Kirkbride: "Certainly we are hoping that developers will come forward, we want this to be a job creating site."

The community will lose the building if they don't find a new use by December 2014. Mullen says if a buyer isn't found the building will come down.

Laurie Mullen: "Really is something that sets us apart from any other place in the upper midwest, and how many other communities has their own castle."

This for sale sign was posted just yesterday, and friends of the Kirkbride hope their efforts today will be seen and heard so they never have to see these walls crumbling down.

Signatures were collected to document the event. This information will be sent to Guinness World Book Of Records to start a new record.

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