POINT PLEASANT — What goes up, must come down — finally.
About 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, the building in the 300 block of Main Street which had caused the street’s closure began to come down.
On Wednesday morning, contractors hired by the building’s new owner, apparently received the appropriate paperwork from a state agency dealing with the presence or non presence of asbestos in the structure. The paperwork gave the contractors the go ahead to bring down the eyesore a day before one of the city’s biggest events begins - the Point Pleasant Sternwheel Regatta.
As the afternoon’s demolition progressed, Jeremy Bryant, city inspector, said barring any unforeseen circumstances, he hoped to have Main Street reopened at the end of the day, even if was just one lane. Bryant’s prediction did come to pass with one lane of Main Street reopened by day’s end though there was a snag in bringing the building entirely down. Though a lot of the structure was demolished, an excavator became stuck, causing construction crews to plan on returning Thursday to finish bringing down the building.
City Attorney R.F. Stein, Jr. said it was his understanding that once the building was down, the barricades would be moved to the sidewalk to keep people at least some distance from the rubble as cleanup continues.
This means it appears the Regatta parade can now follow its same route and visitors to the Regatta should not be impacted by the old building which was well on its way to the ground Wednesday afternoon. Regatta officials have said the event would go on regardless of the outcome of the building staying or going. However, having the building gone and the scene properly secured, as well as Main Street open, is no doubt the preferred outcome by many, not the least of which are the businesses which have been affected.
The saga of the old building began in May, when city officials put tape around it and barricades in fear of it falling, calling it a public safety hazard. After actual bricks began to fall in a nearby alley, that barricade and safety zone was expanded to include a chunk of Main Street between Fourth Street and Third Street.
The building is now deeded to CMU Properties, LLC out of Vienna.