The outside of the old Key Bank Building in downtown Barre is mostly intact, but an arson fire left skeletal-like remains on the inside.
Mayor Thom Lauzon owns the property and the adjacent building.
"Both buildings went through the same fire but 47... Sustained a lot more fire damage and 49 was mostly smoke and water," Lauzon said.
Lauzon says they spent the past few months gutting the Main Street building but were recently stopped in their tracks.
"Six to seven weeks and about $150,000 into the demolition we learned that the building was going to be subject to seismic requirements," he said.
City officials say the building requires new construction because it does not meet new earthquake standards-- updates that would cost about $600,000.
"We would have to build a steel super structure with lateral bracing from the ground through the building to the roof. My personal feeling is it's a little overkill," Lauzon said.
On Thursday night the Development Review Board gave Lauzon permission to demolish the building. Stating that it would cost more to add infrastructure to the building as is than it would be to start from scratch. Lauzon says that is the last thing he wants to do.
"I know what the downtown is going to look like without this building. I have already imagined it. It does not give me a good feeling to have to take it down," Lauzon said.
But residents said they would prefer functional space over historical value.
"I could see it being torn down for something that we all could use," said Chrystal Stillwell of Barre.
"We need a change. We need something in the store. We need something downtown," said David Trzcinski of Barre.
Lauzon says he is working with the city on possible alternate plans, and the final decision needs to be made very soon.
"This building cannot go through a winter the way it is," Lauzon said. "We need to put a roof on it. So we need to either move forward or take the building down."
A decision Lauzon says will be unfortunate, and expensive.
"I'd suffice it to say if it doesn't work out this will be the most expensive parking lot I've ever developed," Lauzon said.
A historical site facing modern challenges.
The building owner has 30 days to make a decision, and says he is hopeful he and the city can reach a deal to avoid demolition.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:57:36 GMT
Teamwork between a Montgomery farmer and a corporal with the Franklin Country sheriff's department may have saved a life when they pulled off a daring rescue. A woman became trapped in her truck tryingMore >>
It was a lifesaving rescue in the nick of time. A Franklin County sheriff's deputy put his life on the line to save a woman trapped in a truck with floodwaters raging around her. More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-04-16 21:58:34 GMT
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin (D-Vermont), VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath. ShumlinMore >>
After this week's whirlwind weather events and major flooding Tuesday, Governor Shumlin, VTrans and state transportation officials held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the aftermath.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:34:35 GMT
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains. There were localized areas of high water and damage, like a road washout on Mud Hollow Road in Kirby. Water remainsMore >>
It looks like our region escaped any major flooding resulting from Tuesday's heavy rains.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:02 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:02:05 GMT
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York. The governor made the declaration Tuesday night. It covers six counties in northeastern of New York, including two inMore >>
The floods forced Gov. Andrew Cuomo to declare a state of emergency in New York.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:08 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:08:35 GMT
If you thought the weather Tuesday really stunk, you weren't alone. Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers were too much for even a beaver. WCAX Producer Diane Landry caught video Tuesday in MiltonMore >>
Apparently all the rain and the rushing rivers in our region Tuesday were too much for even a beaver.More >>
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:09 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:09:50 GMT
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont. SheldonMore >>
If you think this spring has been filled with strange weather-- cold, then hot, then flooding, then snow-- well, we have a reminder that fluctuating weather is not all that unusual in Vermont.More >>