An historic building in the Town of Greece has been torn down.
The early 20th century building known as the Hotel DeMay in Greece, at the intersection of North Greece and Latta Roads was demolished on Friday, which a local preservation group says happened a day after a demolition permit was issued.
The hotel was built in 1909 and according to the Landmark Society it served as a community gathering place and tavern and entertainment establishment for nearly a century. It’s been vacant since 2000.
A group called Save the DeMay formed earlier this year, and one of the organizers, historic preservation consultant Gina DiBella says this was more than a building.
“Besides its history it also had the stories behind it, the people, it was a gathering place for nearly a hundred years for the community and so not only was it the building but it was the stories that were in the building that were important,” DiBella told WXXI News.
DiBella says she wishes her group and others had more time to help the owner find a way to redevelop the building.
But Gary Tajkowski, the town’s director of development services, says since the owner wanted to raze the building, the town couldn’t stop it.
“The town didn’t have the legal authority to delay or deny the demolition permit once the property owner and contractor had demonstrated that they met all the requirements that we have for obtaining a demolition permit.”
The Hotel DeMay was put on the list of ‘Five to Revive’ properties put out by the Landmark Society of Western New York last month.
Larry Francer is associate director of preservation for the Landmark Society, and he says the hotel did have significant historic value for the town.
“It was one of the few remaining buildings of its type, the big restaurant, dance halls of that time period. It was built in 1909, it had many years of use bringing the community together.”
Francer says the Landmark Society also wishes they had been able to work with the owner to find a way to save the property.