LOGAN - The landscape of downtown Logan changed over the weekend.
On Friday, crews began the process of demolishing the Sayer building, which was the first building at Dingess and Water streets coming into the downtown business district. The demolition effort was ramped up on Saturday. By Monday, all that was left of the historic 101-year-old structure were debris and bricks.
Built in 1918, it originally housed the Midelburg Theatre for decades until it was purchased by the original Sayer brothers and turned into the Super S Discount Store. It was also home to Family Dollar in the 1990s and most recently a consignment shop in 2011.
Several years of a leaky roof caused water to seep down into cracks in the bricks of the side wall of the building, and freezing cold would expand the cracks. This eventually led to a section of the building's side wall bowing out and bricks falling.
City officials had hopes the building could be repaired, but those hopes were crushed April 26 when a large portion of the building's side wall collapsed into the intersection. No one was injured at what is usually a busy intersection on a Friday evening.
The future of the building's lot now remains uncertain.
"We'll just have to wait and see what the property owners do with it," said Mayor Serafino Nolletti. "I'd like to see something nice put there - something that will be beneficial to the whole community, whether it be another business or some type of, maybe a green space. Who knows what the future will bring? We'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out. I just hope it's something that will benefit all of us for the next 100 years."
Some residents of Logan County have suggested painting a mural on the adjacent Helig-Meyer Furniture building as a way to beautify the site. Several other towns and cities in West Virginia, such as the McDowell County seat of Welch, have taken that approach as a way to spruce up their downtown areas.
For now, Nolletti says he and other city officials are just relieved that it's finally down after a month and a half of headache caused by the collapse.
Nolletti said he is hopeful that the debris will be cleaned up by the time the West Virginia Freedom Festival rolls around on June 26. He also said he expects the traffic signals to be reinstalled within the coming days.
West Virginia Demolition is the contractor who handled the project.
Dylan Vidovich is a news reporter for HD Media. Contact him by phone at 304-896-5196 or follow him on Twitter @DVidovichLB.