Symbol of a moribund time for traditional media, a demolition crew began putting 7 King Street out of her misery today.
In truth, she was a rotting corpse for a long, long time already.
She was historic, though, purpose-built as the home of a community newspaper a century ago. (Imagine that, a village of Chesterville’s size warranting the construction of an office building to house a local news source.) Her interior buzzed like a hive with many employees through the halcyon days and decades when papers were still king and made money, hand over fist, as monopoly gatekeepers on the distribution of local information. Even so, revenues evidently were not good enough inside 7 King Street to see her properly maintained for possibly the last 40 years.
And so today’s inevitable conclusion begins for the neglected structure, starting with the “newer” section on the back. Erected by the late Jimmy Sullivan, the 1950s addition revealed a surprisingly solid i-beam as Fast Eddie’s excavator crunched through her old bones, sending dust and the pungent smell of mildew wafting through the nearby alleyway.
The main and oldest part of Chesterville’s “Old Grey Lady” — to borrow a title — will be laid to rest on Monday, when the wrecker is due to finish the job and bury her under.
Below, demolition on the main building began Dec. 6.