It all comes tumbling down

Published 12:18 pm Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ironton’s Memorial Hall will soon be a memory.

Demolition of the dilapidated structure began on Wednesday by Southern Ohio Salvage.

“I really hate to see it get torn down,” Rich Blankenship, Ironton mayor, said. “This just needs to get done. Regardless of what this area becomes, Memorial Hall will always be part of Ironton.”

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During the first day of the estimated five-week project, Fourth and Railroad streets were temporarily blocked for the safety of both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Blankenship said the streets would be blocked when Jack Hager, owner of Southern Ohio Salvage, feels it’s necessary.

“The crew is still trying to get a feel for how structurally sound the building is,” Blankenship said. “We would all rather be safe and block the streets than take a chance.”

The $138,000 project hit a snag in late April when Blankenship informed Ironton City Council that no bids were received because of what contractors perceived as a “major, dirty and dangerous job.”

“We had a bid opening and received zero bids,” Blankenship said to council. “The large tower seems to be a safety issue…saving what we want to save is what costs so much money.”

Wood and other debris will be taken to the landfill, Blankenship said, but the plan is to leave the tower and the stone currently on the front and side. The plan also includes eventually making the area a veterans memorial park.