Century-old Watertown building demolished due to storm damage

CREATED May 12, 2014 - UPDATED: May 12, 2014

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WATERTOWN – A Monday afternoon storm damaged a century-old building on Main Street so severely that it was ruled structurally unstable. Demolition began just hours later.

Eighty-year-old Art Hrobsky said he worked in the building decades ago when it was a farm supply store.  More recently, it was a diner.

“Twenty-five cent hamburgers. A dime for a soda,” Hrobsky recounted.  “I hate to see it go.”

Watertown Fire Chief Greg Michalek said a combination of heavy rain and strong winds are to blame.  Part of the vacant building's roof collapsed and the brick walls cracked.

“After the heavy storm came through right after lunch time, one of the engine companies was returning from an ambulance call and noticed some bricks on the ground,” Michalek said. “Part of the roof actually collapsed into the third floor down to the second floor.” 

The building’s owner scrambled to remove belongings before demolition.