Yesterday, a crew of workers began working on separating the former Kennedy Shoe Building from a neighboring one. Today, further hands-on demolition took place.
The two-story, masonry building has provided a challenge to workers, who will have to do most of the selective demolition by hand, given it is surrounded on three of its sides by other downtown buildings. It also has a basement in at least the front area, which crews will be eventually filling up with gravel, one supervisor on-site said earlier today. With only a not-so-thick slab of concrete separating the street level from the basement, heavy machinery probably will not be able to get across until it is filled.
Historically, downtown buildings that have been razed in Linton have stayed that way – empty lots that provide aesthetic benefits, not economic — such as the former Garage Sale USA, Hamilton Drug, Citizen’s Bank, Roach’s Hardware, Cozy Corner, and Roosevelt Mission buildings to name a few.
The former Kennedy Shoe Store building has housed many essential downtown businesses over the past 100+ years, including drug stores, restaurants, shoe stores, clothing stores, offices for a sign maker, and a pet shop to name a few.
According to the City of Linton’s Comprehensive Plan from 2006, the building is part of the Commercial Historic District, as a “contributing” building to the downtown area with its Functional NeoClassical architecture.
What will become of the empty lot is still unclear.