Allison Building in Waynesburg to be razed
The Allison Building, one of the oldest buildings in downtown Waynesburg, will soon be demolished.
Bob Niedbala / Observer-Reporter
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WAYNESBURG – One of the oldest buildings in downtown Waynesburg, which an engineer determined to be structurally deficient, will soon face the wrecking ball.
The Allison Building, considered the birth place of Rain Day, was purchased in June by the First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Greene County.
An engineering firm inspected the three-story building after the bank received an option to purchase it from its previous owner, Dave Coder, said Judi Goodwin Tanner, president and chief executive officer of the bank.
The engineers found the building had a number of structural deficiencies and determined it would be “economically unfeasible to repair,” she said.
Among the engineer’s findings were that some of the brick, load-bearing walls collapsed while others were in a state at which their collapse was imminent, she said.
The building was constructed in the 1830s and was named after William Allison, who worked as a clerk in the building at the J.T. Rogers & Co. Drugstore.
According to Rain Day legend, Allison started keeping a record of the weather July 29 after hearing a farmer complain it rained every year on that date, his birthday. Allison began the tradition of making friendly wagers with others that it would rain July 29.
“We are aware of the history of the building but we are also very concerned about the safety of the people on the street,” Tanner said. “Having to demolishing the building, “I think is very unfortunate.”
The bank currently has no plans to rebuild on the site and the property will be used for customer parking. If the bank needs to expand its main office later, that site will probably be used, Tanner said.
The bank intends to keep samples of the brick from the old building. “If we decide to build, we’d like to build a building that mirrors the one there now,” she said.
The bank earlier received a demolition permit from the borough to raze the building. Tanner said she couldn’t say when the work will be done but she expects it will be soon.
The building has housed two drug stores, J.T. Rogers & Co. and the Daily and the Spragg Drugstore. Pharmacist Byron Daily is credited with continuing the tradition started by Allison of making bets on the weather on July 29.
The building was occupied by a drug store until the early 1980s when it was purchased by Coder. Its most recent tenants were Modar’s Candy and Cake Supplies and the Design and Copy Center. The building has been vacant since about December.