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Mason Jewelers building demolished

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A crane from Denney Excavating brings down the front wall of the Mason Jewelers building at 18 W. Washington St. Demolition took about one hour, and the rubble should be hauled away by Friday.
After housing a jewelry business for 46 years and then standing for a year and a half after a partial collapse, the Mason Jewelers building came down in an hour Tuesday morning.

Denney Excavating Inc. (DEI) began the demolition at 9 a.m. and all of the walls had come "crumblin' tumblin' down" by around 10.

Randy Denney, who owns the excavating company, described the job as going very well, particularly for a building that has been vacant for more than a year.

"The longer a building sits and decays, the more unstable and unpredictable it is," Denney said. "But bring the right tools and you can do just about anything -- and the right tools include the right operator. That's where it all starts."

The longtime Greencastle business occupied 18 W. Washington St. from 1964 until Thanksgiving weekend 2010, when the second floor collapsed onto the first floor.

The other complicating factor to Tuesday's work was the proximity to other buildings and to West Washington Street (U.S. 231). Although the lot east of the building was already vacant, the old Central National Bank building adjoins to the west.

Denney said the first goal is to protect people and secondly to "limit collateral damage."

"A lot of thought goes into it before you do the job," Denney said. "You start off thinking of the worst thing that can happen and then you start working backward."

The block of West Washington Street was closed down while work was being performed close to the front of the building to keep automobiles from being too close.

The Central National Bank building appeared to escaped unscathed. However owner Trudy Selvia, whose desk sits on the adjacent wall, came out front to watch the action when her desk began shaking.

The collateral damage was limited to a tree near the building, which came down with the last section of the east wall.

Filled with the wreckage of the former Mason Jewelers building late Tuesday morning, the lot at 18 W. Washington St. should be clear by Friday. The adjoining lot to the east has been vacant since a 1988 fire destroyed the Mac's men's store building.
DEI had gravity on its side for the first portion of the job. Late Tuesday morning, the work began of picking the rubble up to haul it away. Denney called this the easy part of the job, though, estimating the work would be done in two days.

"Hopefully by Friday we have the sidewalk open," Denney said.

Downtown pedestrians should be thankful to have their walkway back.

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Maybe those pesky leaves will leave next door at CVB...

-- Posted by kubotafan on Wed, May 16, 2012, at 11:34 AM

bahahahaha. Maybe it should read, "maybe those pesky leaves will "leaf" next door.

-- Posted by stealthmode on Wed, May 16, 2012, at 1:19 PM

Adjorning lot vacant since fire? Strange BG is catty corner and never saw the park or visited Santa there? From what I understand, the visitor's bureau owns the lot and created a park area out of it.

-- Posted by stealthmode on Wed, May 16, 2012, at 1:26 PM

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