The building at 1131 Lake Street in Elmira used to be the home of Lovell’s Drug Store and soda counter, but since it closed, it’s deteriorated into a drug house and safety hazard.
August 27, 2012
Elmira (WENY) - The building at 1131 Lake Street in Elmira used to be the home of Lovell's Drug Store and soda counter, but since it closed, it's deteriorated into a drug house and safety hazard. Today demolition crews were on scene to tear it down and so were about a dozen people who turned the demolition into a celebration. Lovell's first showed up in the Elmira business directory in 1901and became a neighborhood landmark when it started selling ice cream. Bob McConnell owns McConnell 's Hots across the street, says in the 60's and 70's people would go for the old fashioned Ice cream sodas
“I'm a little bit sad but progress, and the building was really run down and people were going in there and doing things they shouldn't have been doing so it was kind of an eye sore and it really had to go,” says McConnell.
Rocco Picarazzi the Director of Elmira's Code Enforcement says the demolition is part of a city wide effort to get rid of problem buildings.
“I spruces up the neighborhoods, they are eye sore properties people around them are all upset with people going in and out but they are just dilapidated for a number of years, and people want their neighborhoods cleans up.”
Pastor Bobby Smith from Shabach Tabernacle, which sits right next door, says the old building was a haven for drug users.
“I understand about the history behind it but its also been a hindrance. It's been a hindrance to a number of us.”
With the building down, the church can continue it's renovations, and may even get off street parking.
“Once are twice I can remember going in and sitting down and everybody sharing a spoonful of an ice cream soda so it's not like I haven't been there, but we need that building down; and guess what that building is coming down,” says Smith.
The city also knocked down three other run down buildings over the past week. Crews will take down one more as soon as they finish on Lake Street.