MT. MORRIS — Demolition has started on buildings located on the north edge of Mt. Morris’s downtown district.
Martin & Co, of Oregon, started demolition on Thursday just west of the where Union Savings Bank was located on the corner of West Main Street and Wesley Avenue.
“It’s sad to lose an old building, but I think that, once it’s down, it’ll look nice and we’ll be able to see the campus from the highway,” Village Trustee Melissa Nicholson said. “It’ll be a good thing in the end.”
The complex being torn down, located at 2 West Main St., includes the Wishard Building, which was constructed in 1920. The Wishard Building was, for many years, home to Citizens State Bank and other businesses, including the practice of Dr. H.J. Stengel. Demolition on that building will begin soon.
Jerry Stauffer, a village trustee and Economic Development Corporation board member, said he expects demolition and clean up to take a little more than a week. The plan is to return the area to green space, he said.
“A lot of the people in town didn’t want to see the building come down,” Stauffer said. “We worked very hard to try to save the building … but it just wasn’t in the cards.”
The building served the community and bank well for many years, Nick Gill, Union Savings Bank CEO and president said in a written statement provided to Shaw Media Oct. 14.
“Unfortunately, its condition had deteriorated beyond the point of repair,” Gill wrote. “We decided to build a new office that will allow us to continue serving our customers into the future. We have greatly appreciated the support from the community throughout the years and during this process.”
In April, the bank broke ground on a new Mt. Morris facility just north of the Wishard Building, at 1 West Hitt St. (Illinois Route 64). All operations were transferred there as of Sept. 27.
Union Savings Bank’s main office is in Freeport. It has branches in Freeport, Rockford, Belvidere and Mt. Morris.