Burned NC building now history | TheUnion.com

Burned NC building now history

Eileen JoyceA man sprays water to keep down the dust as a crane tears down the last remaining section of wall at the old Elks Lodge building in Nevada City Thursday.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

The last vestiges of the old Elks Lodge Building at the corner of Commercial and North Pine streets in Nevada City are all but gone.

People on Thursday stopped to look, comment, photograph and even applaud as the last large sections of wall were knocked down.

“I knew there was a patio here…,” said Mike Johns, owner of the Country Rose restaurant on Commercial Street, soon after Alfred Peard, a crane and excavator operator with Robinson Enterprises Inc., peeled away a large chunk of the brick wall of the building destroyed March 20.

“So there is a tree,” Johns said, looking in the direction of the old Hartung Building on Broad Street that backed into the Elks Building.

The wall demolished Thursday also flanked the former Bank of America building constructed in 1934 and another property.

The nearby buildings, all of which face Broad Street, were evacuated as a safety precaution as Peard used the crane to systematically knock down the old, unreinforced brick wall.

The demolition and cleanup should be completed Wednesday, said Don Hoffler, who led the Robinson crew.

Among those watching was Ken Baker, one of the property owners and president of Nevada City Engineering Inc.

Tentative plans for the new brick building could come before the Nevada City Planning Commission April 25, Baker said. The new building will have the same floor plan, he said.

The old bricks will be scraped and cleaned and could be used inside the new building, said Baker, who hopes reconstruction will begin by the end of May and be finished by the end of March 2003.

The old Elks Building housed Friar Tuck’s Restaurant & Bar, the county Probation Department and Victim/Witness Program, The Herb Shop, and Off Broadstreet Theater.

They all want to return when the new building is completed, Baker said.

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