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Razing of buildings approved

January 24, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

a href="mailto:scottb@herald-mail.com">scottb@herald-mail.com

A Hagerstown preservation commission gave approval Thursday for a second downtown building to be demolished as part of a project to provide open space near the University System of Maryland Hagerstown Education Center.

The Hagerstown Preservation Design District Commission unanimously gave its support for razing the former four-story Grand Piano warehouse, which is along an alley near the Potomac Street parking deck.

The concrete and brick warehouse was built in 1926 but has been vacant since at least 1992, when Grand Piano deeded the property to the city, City Engineer Rodney Tissue said.

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The Preservation Design District Commission on Jan. 9 approved the demolition of the former McCrory's building at 50-56 W. Washington St., next to the Baldwin House.

The McCrory's and Grand Piano buildings were not seen as contributing to the historic district, city officials said.

The City of Hagerstown plans to use part of more than $1 million in state grants to tear down the former McCrory's building, which was built in the 1950s.

The city is accepting bids for the demolition of McCrory's, which could occur as early as March, Tissue said.

Eventually, the city will develop an urban park in its place, providing green space next to the campus.

The city is considering using Community Development Block Grant funds to pay for demolition of the Grand Piano building.

Tissue estimated the demolition will cost about $200,000.

City plans call for putting decorative pavement and landscaping where the warehouse currently sits, he said.

The city might use the same contractor for both demolitions, Tissue said.

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