The historic brick building in downtown Pottsville which used to house the former Maroons bar and an antique store before that faced the proverbial wrecking ball on Saturday.
A crew from SDL Construction, of Orwigsburg, made quick work of the corner property at North Centre and Nichols streets in the city.
By about 2 p.m., the 556 North Centre St. facade was gone, leaving only the rear of the massive building, which extended back to near Progress Ave.
An excavator gave a few final pushes with its shovel to knock down the last remains of the street-level portion of the building.
A plume of dust rose up as debris and the last few bricks crashed to the ground below.
Former Maroons Bar in Pottsville Demolished
And so goes another historic brick building in downtown Pottsville.
Earlier this year, it was reported that the south face of the building, which had long been covered from the public’s eye by another building, was deemed a hazard. Facing a decision of whether to repair the building or demolish it, building owners decided to raze it.
The property was purchased by Roy and Janice Smith, of Lebanon, in July 2020. Smith, who runs a counseling business about a block away on N. Centre St., denied rumors at that time that he’d planned to demolish it.
21st Century History of the Maroons Bar in Pottsville
After spending a few years vacant at the turn of the Century when it had been the Curious Goods antique store, this historic building was completely renovated and transformed into the Maroons Sports Bar & Grill when it was sold in 2002 to James Croley.
This is what the building looked like in 1994 when it was Curious Goods:
Pottsville Area Development Corp. got a hold of the deed in 2007 and sold it to Robert and Karen Dittmar, who continued to operate the business that was a tribute to the historic Pottsville Maroons football team, which was robbed of the 1925 NFL championship.
The building was sold at auction in 2015 to R&R Legacy Investments and then sold again last year to the Smiths. Here’s a look at the building as it was last seen before demolition.
In addition to the building itself, the structure also featured some notable artwork, too.
Several murals were painted by the late Dave Naydock in areas that used to be windows on the north face of it. And when a neighboring structure was demolished, it revealed a near pristine “ghost ad” for Mail Pouch Tobacco painted across the entirety on the south face.
While it’s sad to see the building go, losing this may be the real tragedy here:
Working for the Weekend
Check out this sequence as steel beams from the former Maroons bar in Pottsville are neatly stacked on a pile by this excavator from SDL Construction.
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Photos: Coal Region Canary
October 24, 2021 at 2:47 am
Been reading a whole lot of boo-hoos over the building, why didn’t anyone support it when it was still up and running? And before everyone starts crying poor why is it okay for you to be stingy but the owners aren’t allowed to make the decision that’s in their best financial interest? Especially if it had serious structural/safety problems. Why should someone else be responsible for paying and maintaining this thing that won’t provide a return, for watering this dead plant, just so you can keep the facade of your good-ol days for a little while longer? Last time I checked rosy memories don’t pay the bills. I swear people just expect this town to stay frozen in time for them until they live out the rest of their life
Lon Chaney III
October 24, 2021 at 2:43 pm
Tahisha, what are you, 12? It was about keeping the Pottsville Maroons name in peoples minds. It’s history, it’s tradition. “good old days”? “frozen in time”? Written as something derogatory means I was wrong about your age, I’m going for 9.
October 24, 2021 at 6:42 pm
Why should we care about history? The people who care about this stuff are quickly dying off, and to all the Reading/Philly transplants who are coming here and all the kids who were born here, it doesn’t matter. I’d argue a good chunk of the population wasn’t even alive back when this place was good, they can’t remember a time when it was good. This ~*~history~*~ isn’t bringing in the money or the jobs, and this town can’t sustain itself pretending to be a glorified museum exhibit. That’s why we have all these warehouses, dollar stores, medical centers, prisons, etc. as much as people dislike them. Because they’re the only things that can seem to succeed. The fact of the matter is nobody wanted anything to do with that building when they had the chance. Owners didn’t want to pay to maintain it, customers didn’t want to pay to patronize it, potential buyers didn’t want to pay and renovate it. But now everyone wants to cry about it because tears are free.
October 24, 2021 at 11:02 pm
It’s incredible how you can be kinda spot-on on some parts but at the same time be so way off.
You’re right about tourism as an industry. It can’t be the only show in town. Pottsville, especially, needs an economy. We’ve said that on more than one occasion.
However, to suggest that no one cares about Pottsville’s fascinating history is absurd. And lately, that history IS bringing in more money than it ever has.
As far as the “Maroons building” goes, it’s just sad to see Pottsville lose a piece of that remarkable past. Every building that remains tells a piece of that past. Losing one, for whatever reason, is sad. It’s especially sad because people know all too well that NOTHING will go in its place. It’ll never create any of the memories the businesses that were in that building created for people. It’ll never be part of that neighborhood again.
The reason businesses had a hard time making it there weren’t because of the businesses in them. It’s due to the poor economy here, in general. It’s just difficult to make it work. That was the part you were right about but you were so wrong about everything else. People here DO care about Pottsville and Schuylkill County. These relics from our past should show everyone here today that people who came before us obviously tried really hard and achieved very much. Pottsville was a community of classic overachievers. Seems a lot of that is gone these days.
That said, thanks for reading.
October 31, 2021 at 9:57 pm
Never forget the importance of history. To know nothing of what happened before you took your place on earth, is to remain a child for ever and ever. ~ Author Unknown