Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

May 13, 2013

Downtown demolition draws a crowd

Brent Brown
Greensburg Daily News

Greensburg — A sizable crowd of onlookers gathered on a darkened square late Friday night as construction crews went to work demolishing a crumbling Main Street building.

The structure, formerly the location of Chung Do Kwon Martial Arts, began deteriorating around Wednesday last week. By Friday morning, city road crews had closed off an adjacent alley for safety reasons. Initial plans were to begin demolition of the building over the weekend, but a noticeably quick deterioration throughout the day Friday expedited the process, Greensburg Fire Chief Scott Chasteen told the Daily News.

The demolition required power to be shut off on the square for approximately two hours Friday night into Saturday morning, shutting down businesses in the surrounding area and darkening several homes in the radius as well. The building’s owner, Rick Pleak, had been in contact with the city throughout the week in regard to what to do with the crumbling building. Pleak, Chasteen said, gave the go-ahead to demolish the building late Friday. Crews began the process at approximately 11 p.m. and worked through the night to see it through to completion.

A crowd spilled into the streets to watch crews from Denney Excavating remove the facade of the building. Within approximately an hour, the front of the structure had been demolished, giving full view to an empty interior. Onlookers snapped photos of the work while Greensburg police officers directed traffic around the square.

The scene was illuminated by lights used by the Denney Excavating crews as well as flashes from cameras and cell phones brought by intrigued local residents.

Power was restored at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday. Chasteen said the deconstruction process was wrapped up at around 4:30 a.m.

Chasteen said crews shut down power as part of the effort to maintain public safety Friday night. The building sat near the heart of downtown Greensburg, on Main Street, which is typically one of the city’s most traveled streets, even late into the evening. A bevy of night clubs and bars around the square also attract large crowds, particularly on the weekends, making the temporary closure of those businesses a necessity.

Contact: Brent Brown 812-663-3111 x7056