… And then there was nothing

by Geoff Fox

All that remains of the building that once stood as McKinley’s Market at 55 West Main Street is a gravel lot. An interior collapse in March caused the building to be condemned and the need for it to be demolished. photo by Geoff Fox

On Monday, March 25, the interior of the building that once housed McKinley’s Market at 55 West Main Street collapsed into the basement and a few days later, demolition started.

As of last week, there remains only a gravel space between two buildings in that spot.

Since March 29, Allegany Wrecking and Salvage have been working to demolish the building and on Friday, May 10, they were loading up their equipment at the site.

The original building housing McKinley’s Market was built in the early 20th Century and, in 1944, a fire destroyed it.

The building that stood until the collapse was built in 1945 and the second floor in 1946.

For the last number of years, the building has been vacant and fell into disrepair, raising issues over the property attracting vagrants, young people, drug use, graffiti, and vandalism.

Sometime over the weekend prior to March 25, the building partially collapsed but wasn’t discovered until that day.

First responders from Washington County and Montgomery County responded to the scene with fear there could possibly be someone still inside. No one was found in the collapse.

The town and first responders had Main Street closed from Pennsylvania Avenue to Church Street during the response. It was reopened at 3 p.m. that day.

Since the collapse, Allegany Wrecking and Salvage had been clearing the lot with Main Street closed between Pennsylvania Avenue or Fulton Street and Church Street, with limited access for businesses and residents or limited to one lane as the site was cleared.

From the time of the collapse until the building was finally cleared, the section of sidewalk in front of 55 West Main Street had been closed to pedestrians.