Demolition of ‘Kirkwood Building’ leaves community sad

News

NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) –  The demolition of a downtown Negaunee landmark has begun.

To many, the Kirkwood building in downtown Negaunee is more than 4 walls and a door.

Mark Balzarini, Negaunee resident says, ” I hate to see it go because there’s a lot of childhood memories here. I’ve been living here almost 60 years.”

People like Mark Balzarini say watching the building crumble is like losing a piece of history.

” It’s gonna be missed the towns gonna look different without it, ” continues Balzarini.

A building that has stood on Iron Street for more than a century is being torn down.

City Manager Nate Heffron says people tell them they are sad and disappointed.

” I think a lot people see it as a piece of history for the city of Negaunee specifically being one of the largest and most unique buildings built on Iron Street, ” says Nate Heffron, City Manager of Negaunee.

The ‘Kirkwood Building’ has been home to bars, restaurants, even a hardware store. But it was deemed a hazard to the community after a portion of the roof caved in.

” A lot of people are obviously upset that this building is coming down but do understand why it needs to come down, it’s a matter of public safety, health, and welfare, ” continues Heffron.

The city tells me they notified the building owner earlier this summer of the demolition, and that the owner has not taken steps towards fixing the building.

” The city can just not afford to wait for the building to collapse any further, damaging adjacent buildings or also putting the lives or other property in risk of a final collapse, ” says Heffron.

For four walls and a door, this building has held so much history. While, the future of the property is unclear, the city tells me it will not be a parking lot.

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