A unique two-story building that had been a fixture on Upper Court Street in Kirkwood for almost a century was turned into a pile of rubble by a demolition team in a matter of minutes.
Workers from Gorick Construction tore down the structure that had been home to service stations and at least one car dealership over the years.
Broome County historian Roger Luther was surprised to see the activity on February 6 as he drove past the property just east of the Binghamton city line.
Luther pulled over, grabbed the camera he always has with him and took a few pictures of the demolition operation.
Speaking on WNBF Radio, Luther said: "I loved that building." He thought the place would have made a "nice little brewery" or some other business.
Luther said since he posted some of his photos online, he's learned "everybody loved that building and everybody had plans to use it." He said the place was gone within about 45 minutes.
Luther said he believes the brick building was constructed in 1929 by R.J. Bump for use as a service station. The place later was known as Gallagher's Service Station, which sold Blitzen gasoline. Raymond R. Knapp Auto Sales then operated at the site for several years.
Luther noted railroad tracks ended next to the building. That's where coal was dropped from rail cars and then moved under Court Street using a conveyor system to the Binghamton State Hospital's power plant.
The Court Street property is owned by an Elmira based entity. Representatives of the company could not be reached to discuss a possible future use for the now-cleared site.
LISTEN: Broome County historian Roger Luther discussed the landmark building on WNBF Radio on February 15, 2023.
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Note the posted price of gasoline at the R.J. Bump service station in 1930 was 17 cents a gallon - tax included.
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