Monday Feb 02 2009
G Street building demolished
By: Brandon Darnell, News Messenger Reporter
No current plans for use of property
A pair of tractors made short work of a downtown building Monday morning. Over the course of the day, the tractors, operated by Sterling P. Holloway, III, Inc., brought down the building at 390 G St., which is familiarly known as the Malotte Building and the Old Fruit House, said Elizabeth Jansen, whose family has owned the property since the 40s. “It was time,” said Richard Jansen, Elizabeth’s brother. “It was an eyesore.” Richard added that the building had originally been built as a fruit shed, and had later become a fiberglass business. “I was in the building 30 years,” said Carl Malotte, whose name and fiberglass business are most commonly associated with the building. “I sold the business in 2000 to another company, then it was sold again.” Elizabeth said the building has been vacant for a year, and that she was afraid it was becoming a liability. “It just became impossible to keep it to code,” Elizabeth said. “I felt it was asafety hazard and a liability. I just was not willing to allow anyone to get hurt. It was time to take it down and make it safe.” Elizabeth added that vandalism has been a problem, and evidence of graffiti was visible in the wreckage. She said she was afraid it would be set on fire someday. The Jansen family, Elizabeth said, currently has no specific plans for the property. “It’s been in our family since the 40s,” Elizabeth said. “I think we all have mixed emotions about it. It’s kind of historical.” As they watched the tractors drive through the building, their scoops rending timbers and walls, Malotte, Richard and Elizabeth recounted memories and stories from its earlier days. “There used to be a rifle range downstairs,” Richard said. “There were gun safety classes taught there Monday nights. It was a kick working over there.” David Holloway supervised the demolition by the Auburn-based company. “It keeps us busy, for sure,” Holloway said. “Demolition work doesn’t fall in lockstep with the construction industry, but any work is good. We’ve managed to keep busy.” Brandon Darnell can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.