SALEM, Ohio (WYTV) – About four months back, Armadillo Development bought a couple of plots of land in Salem, one of which was the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce. On Tuesday, the historic building was torn down.
Crews started working at the site near Lincoln Avenue and State Street at 6 a.m.
“This is the center of Salem. This is the big intersection,” said David Shivers, with the Salem Historical Society.
People who have called Salem home their entire lives are used to seeing the building.
“It’s a shame to see it go because it’s something you see every day of your life. It’s going to be sad to see it not here anymore,” said resident Brian Fullum.
It was originally built in the late 1860s as a Baptist church. The building caught fire in the 1940s and was then gifted to the city in 1956.
“It’s always very sad to see any historic structure come down, but Salem’s always been about progress and you have to move forward,” Shivers said.
While nothing has been officially filed with the zoning committee, there is some concern about what will replace the historical building.
“Hopefully, they will follow through with what they are allegedly saying they’re going to do and we will have a nice, new business here that can bring jobs to the city, which is what every city needs right now,” Fullum said.
A member of Armadillo Development said nothing has been officially planned for the site and there are still a lot of questions.
“It’s not just going to be another parking lot or they would slap up something inappropriate to the feeling of the town,” Shivers said.
The overall plan is to demolish four buildings along that corner area for development. Some demolition has already taken place.