A longtime downtown Hannibal eyesore is in the process of being demolished.
The old Maryland Hotel next to city hall was acquired by Bricker Excavating and Demolition in November, but crews weren't able to start tearing it down until this week.
There are several reasons why it took about five months to finally tear the building down. First there was asbestos in the basement and telephone lines coming from City Hall had to be re-routed.
But now that demolition has started, local business owners are looking forward to it.
"It's good to see that progress has been made to the downtown area. Something is being done to revitalize the city, the downtown area," business owner Keith Andrews said.
Andrews owns Kiaras New to You Thrift Store just across the street from the vacant building, and he said something needed to be done because it wasn't a welcoming sight to customers.
"It doesn't help when you see broken windows in buildings down here. So if they just fixed the windows and nothing else that would look better for the downtown area," Andrews said.
While business owners are excited to get rid of the former hotel, project coordinator Ronald Bricker says he's sad to see it come down.
"I do hate to see it come down because of the fact of the history in it, but with all the hands that it's gone through, they've left it in a very bad state of repair," Bricker said.
Looking from the outside, you can't tell demolition has started, but inside, crews have made a lot of progress in just a couple of days.
Once the old hotel is gone, Bricker said it will open up several possibilities.
"We can either turn it in to a green space for right now which is not going to cost anything except for the grass to mow it. But that or if someone had the idea they would like to develop it and put a store in or something else," Bricker said.
Bricker said he has 60 days to demolish the building, but he's hoping to have it completed in about a month depending on the weather.
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