City of Lamar to demolish historical buildings - KOAM TV 7

City of Lamar to demolish historical buildings


Situated along 10th Street close to Lamar Square, several structures date back more than 100 years. But they will soon be no longer. 

"We're going ahead and getting the buildings down before it falls down and hurts somebody," said Lynn Calton, City Administrator.

 The City of Lamar has deemed five buildings, referred to as the Gilkey Building, as hazardous, as they have slowly begun to deteriorate. Raising efficient funds for proper restoration has proven too expensive.

Now, upon receipt of a federal grant of more than $130,000, the city is beginning the process of taking them down.

City officials say they plan to have the demolition completed by the fall, but there are many steps that have to take place prior to tearing down the buildings 

A thorough archeological report of the buildings must be submitted to the state historical preservation office. Also, a small amount of lead paint and asbestos needs to be properly removed. 

Calton says the decision is one that was bittersweet, as buildings have worn many hats over the years, from drinking establishments to movie theatres. 

"There were a lot of different reasons it would have bee great to save them but unfortunately we can't," said Calton. 

But the hazards outweigh the nostalgia, as some residents will attest.

"They've been sitting there as an eyesore now for months, and a danger, that's why they have them braced up, I'm glad it's time to just, lets rip that band aid off and lets move on a build something new over there," said Jim Horton, owner of Madhatter Toys and Games.

The Community Betterment Group is the current owner of the buildings. They were originally donated to the organization from the Gilkey family of Lamar.

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