(Updated) Demolition of Pop Culture House begins PDF Print E-mail
Written by By HAROLD BROWN/Sentinel-Tribune   
Friday, 10 August 2012 07:35
Crews knock down BGSU Popular Culture House this morning. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
(Updated 10:39 am, 08-10-12)
Crews began knocking down the walls of the Bowling Green State University Popular Culture House at 7 this morning.
Starting on the west end of the building, a large mechanical claw made short work of the structure. By 7:20 nearly half of the portion of the house facing Wooster Street was rubble. A short while later the cleanup began.
About a half-dozen people, including  BGSU officials, a BGSU police officer and members of the press witnessed the initial demolition.
Sprinkles were falling as the work began and turned into a steady drizzle by 7:30.
“We were ahead of schedule with the preparations and got the permits late Thursday from the city,” BGSU  spokesperson Dave Kielmeyer said as he stood on the north side of Wooster Street watching the work. The city requires a demolition permit to insure that all utilities have been disconnected to help insure the safety of the work.
BGSU officials earlier indicated the demolition would begin Monday but decided not to wait through the weekend.
The work is being done by the same firm that is demolishing the Central Administration Building on South Grove Street, Kielmeyer said.
The structure was a Montgomery Ward kit house done on a Sears design. It was built in 1932 as a private residence and purchased a few years later by the university. Four BGSU presidents resided there, before it became the headquarters for the university’s alumni association and then the Popular Culture House.
Steve Krakoff, associate vice president of capital planning  at BGSU, said several items from the structure had been salvaged and placed in storage. Among those items are leaded glass windows, a banister, the front door, the large “S” that decorated the chimney on the front of the house, period light fixtures, door knobs, corner cabinets, a canopy that was over the back door and the wooden beams from the front of the house.
Kielmeyer said staff walked through the building with faculty members to help determine which items to salvage.
It has not been determined what will be done with the salvaged items.
Fencing was put in place Thursday to secure the site.
Since news of the planned demolition was published July 21 in the Sentinel-Tribune, groups and individuals mounted efforts to convince BGSU officials to change their plans or at least delay the work to determine if the house could be moved.
Social media was employed to gather interest and support, with some claiming more than 2,000 supporters to stop the process. There was also a demonstration at the 838 E. Wooster Street property. A group spent more than hour at Monday night’s Bowling Green City Council meeting trying to convince city officials to take a stand or intervene.
The university has indicated the site, along with two adjacent lots cleared earlier this summer, is its primary location for a new student health center. BGSU is in talks with Wood County Hospital to develop the project.
Last Updated on Friday, 10 August 2012 10:57

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