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VIDEO: Crews tearing down a former downtown Middletown department store after wind damage

Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 @ 9:16 AM

Demolition underway of old Montgomery Ward building in Middletown.

The demolition of the former Montgomery Ward department store on North Main Street in downtown Middletown continues to move forward.

City officials said high winds last month damaged the roof of the city-owned building as well as bricks and other debris falling to the sidewalk prompted the decision to demolish it. The building demolition required closing the right southbound lane of North Main Street.

MORE: Former Montgomery Ward building in Middletown to be razed after wind damage

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Demolition continues Wednesday, March 13, 2019 on the old Montgomery Ward building on North Main Street in Middletown. Bricks started to fall on the sidewalk from the wall facing North Main Street a few weeks ago so demolition work started ahead of schedule. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Plans to demolish the building were made in December 2017 but the city did not move forward on the project due to a lack of funds, according to city spokeswoman Shelby Quinlivan. After last month’s wind damage, the city contacted the demolition company that won the bid about proceeding with the project. Vickers Wrecking agreed to honor its earlier bid price of $292,000 and was able to start immediately.

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Demolition continues Wednesday, March 13, 2019 on the old Montgomery Ward building on North Main Street in Middletown. Bricks started to fall on the sidewalk from the wall facing North Main Street a few weeks ago so demolition work started ahead of schedule. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

The city tried to sell the building twice but did not receive any bids or proposals, Quinlivan said. The city acquired the vacant building at no cost in July 2012 after it was forfeited to the state for nonpayment of back taxes. Officials have been discussing demolishing it since early 2013.