LOGAN - Crews began the process of demolishing the Sayer building in downtown Logan on Friday, 42 days after it partially collapsed.
A large portion of the 101-year-old building came crumbling down into the intersection of Dingess Street and Water Street on the evening of April 26, after the building sat vacant in deteriorating condition for several years. No pedestrian or vehicular traffic was at the site, which is usually a busy intersection on a Friday evening, when the collapse happened.
The area was the site of several utility lines and West Virginia Department of Transportation traffic signals that had to be moved or removed before the building could be demolished, which is why the process has taken nearly a month and a half to get underway.
Built in 1918, the building was once home to the Midelburg Theatre, the Super S Discount Store and Family Dollar. It is the first building motorists can see when entering downtown Logan, meaning demolition will leave a noticeable empty space in the city.
"It's going to be a big change when you come into town without that building there," said Mayor Serafino Nolletti. "We'll just have to see what happens in the future now. That building has been there, like a lot of buildings in the downtown business area, for over 100 years, so it's going to be a big, big difference, but time will tell about the future."
Although a piece of Logan history is coming down, both Nolletti and Logan Police Chief P.D. Clemens agreed that it will be a relief once it's gone, especially since safety will no longer be a concern with the West Virginia Freedom Festival coming up June 26.
"It's just a huge, huge relief, not only for us, but for all the merchants and the people who have to travel through town," Clemens said. "It's just a relief to get the town back to normal."
Nolletti said the building will likely be completely demolished by the end of the week and cleaned up by the time the Freedom Festival arrives.
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.