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Building 8 to be demolished

'It's absolutely falling down, it's a hazard'

Building 8 at the old Hamilton Woolen Mill has seen far better days. Its roof collapsed during last year’s heavy snow and the owners are now seeking to demolish it. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
December 28, 2011
SOUTHBRIDGE — Residents of River Avenue will soon have a ringside seat to a piece of history coming down.

Last week, the Conservation Commission started its public hearing on the demolition of Building 8 of the huge mill complex across the Quinebaug River. Old timers call the whole complex the Ames Worsted Mill. Some, even older, remember it as Hamilton Woolen Mills. Younger people mostly know it as Mill Street Brews and a collection of small businesses, and a few know it houses Rudy DiGregorio's studio, where he created all of the Christmas decorations along Main Street.

At one time, there were two freestanding brick buildings right along the river. Years ago, the northernmost one came down (it's now part of the parking lot). Now, the southern one, built in 1857, is about to share its fate.

"It's absolutely falling down. It's a hazard," said engineer Seth Lajoie, representing Patriot Environmental Corp. "... It's really kind of too bad. If you look at that building it [was] gorgeous; it reminds me of Charleston, S.C."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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