‘Monstrous’ leak condemns building
MONTGOMERY – It is always a sad situation to dismantle an historic property, and it was no different for property owner Rocky Sanguedolce. On Wednesday, December 30th the bank building on the corner of Main Street and Houston Avenue in downtown Montgomery had to be razed. “I did not want to take it down,” said Sanguedolce who purchased the bank building with hopes of restoring it.
Originally built in 1890, Sanguedolce said the building eventually developed a small roof leak from previous owners that turned into a “monstrous leak.” He explained that the roof had collapsed into the second floor and a few years ago, the second floor collapsed into the first floor. “Soon the first floor collapsed into the basement, and I could stand in the basement and see the sun.”
In November the back wall collapsed which necessitated tearing it down. It was condemned and became a hazard. “We wanted it to be safe, because kids were walking by there back and forth during the school days.”
He had several contractors look at the situation still hoping he could save the 5,000 square foot structure somehow. “But all the engineers told me it was beyond repair,” added Sanguedolce who has owned it for only a year. “I loved the history and thought at first I could rehabilitate the building.”
Sanguedolce who had intentions of restoring the bank building into apartments, has had much success in fixing up other Montgomery Main Street properties. However, he related that this one was beyond his capabilities. Sanguedolce and his family currently own 20 other properties and 50 apartments that they have restored.
Sanguedolce did say that he was able to salvage the bank’s vault and alarm system which he plans on dedicating to the Montgomery Historical Society at a later date in the near future.
The razing took most of the day and Sanguedolce said he painfully watched the dismantling and other spectators stopped to watch throughout the day as Lycoming Supply excavated the dwelling. The street was closed for most of the day during the excavation.
As far as plans for the future, Sanguedolce said the lot will open up for awhile for parking once they are finished clearing everything away. “We would also like to hold community events there on the corner,” he added.
The Sanguedolces are currently working on another property located on Broad Street in Montgomery. “We’re doing one house at a time,” said the 38 year old property developer.