Building demo leaves a big hole downtown

  • The building at 188 Main St., Greenfield has been demolished, leaving a sizable hole. The project won’t resume until January, according to the mayor. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 12/4/2019 10:23:03 PM

GREENFIELD – Although the building at 188 Main St. has been demolished, the project won’t resume until January, according to Mayor William Martin on Wednesday.

Martin said the project, which was set to begin Nov. 4, was delayed but the building was able to be demolished before Thanksgiving.

“The city didn’t want to disrupt the holiday foot traffic,” Martin said. “When work continues after the first of the year, it will be to fill in the cavity left behind and accommodate the structure and those on both sides of the structures next to it.”

GeoInsight, an engineering firm will monitor the structural integrity of the adjacent buildings and railroad overpass that runs beneath Main Street, according to Martin’s office.

The site will be back filled, a temporary “faux” façade will be constructed to host temporary public art in advance of the city’s decision about the future use of the site. The rear of the property will be secured by fencing.

Martin said the tunnel beneath Main Street is in “excellent condition.”

The demolition was performed by American Environmental Inc., a licensed asbestos remediation contractor. Environmental monitoring of air quality for asbestos will be performed by ATC, according to a statement last month from the mayor’s office. The state Department of Environmental Protection reviewed and approved the asbestos removal and demolition plan submitted by the city.

Demolition on the long-abandoned and condemned property was made possible once the city was awarded ownership earlier this year.

Abutting property owners were advised of the deconstruction schedule and some parking will be out of service until the project is completed. Sidewalk access is restricted, but passable.

Potential reuse of the property includes a walking path or bridge to the parking lot, an alcove sitting area or others, according to Martin.

Martin said the Department of Public Works is going to work on the parking lot by the building as well.

“They’re going to chip away at the concrete abutments and replace them with a kiosk in spring or summer of 2020,” Martin said. “That work is being funded with Community Development Block Grant money. It’ll make the parking lot more rectangular.”

The demolition project was made possible with some local funds and financial assistance from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and Community (MassDOT) Development Block Grants and coordination with MassDOT Rail and Highway Divisions.

Reach Melina Bourdeau at or 413-772-0261, ext. 263.

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