Cheshire town officials vote to demolish a historic building--calling it unsafe. YNN's Madeleine Rivera talked to residents about what they will miss about the building which has stood for more than 2 centuries.
CHESHIRE, MA. -- "It used to be a hotspot in Cheshire," said Jill Reynolds of the building that stands next to her glass shop.
People passing through Route 8 in town see an empty building that's slowly breaking down. But, it wasn't always like this.
"Chandeliers, the medalled ceilings," said Edward Provost, who used to hang out there.
Built more than 200 years ago, the former Cheshire Inn used to be one of the most elegant buildings in town- a hang out spot and a haven for the elite. Over the years, the building has deteriorated. Now, you can't even walk inside without a hard hat.
"It's totally unstable. There's holes in the roofs. The ceilings are falling down," said Carol Francesconi, Cheshire's Chairman of the Board of Selectmen.
The inn was closed in 2006 by former owner Peter Krutiak who operated a bar in the basement. But, Krutiak, who bought the building in the 1980's says he was unable to keep up with the maintenance of the building. In a statement, he said, "I put 27 years of my life into this.This was my life project. But, the cost of fixing this building was astronomical."
In 2011, the town took ownership of the building through a tax lien. And this week, they approved a $47,000 plan to demolish it.
A few years ago, there was plan to tear down the building and build a Dunkin Donuts on the site. But, a lot of residents opposed that plan, so it was scrapped. The former owner of the building says he's thankful for the support of the residents--whose memories of this building are bittersweet.
"A meeting place for a lot of us--for good friends of mine," said Provost.
"It's a shame but the town has to do it. But, we still have our memories," said Corey McGrath.
There will be a town meeting next month to approve the demolition. There are no plans as to what will be built on this site.