The days of the old Maryland Hotel (Conklin Hotel) in downtown Hannibal are numbered. The property’s new owner, Bricker Excavating/Demolition, intends to remove the structure in the near future.
“Because of the building’s state of repair, there’s no fixing it, unfortunately. It would be too costly,” said Ron Bricker, project coordinator with the company. “We bought the building with the idea that we would go ahead and demolish it and develop the site for something else.”
According to Bricker, the purchase of the property from Jim and Sheryl Love was completed last week. He declined to reveal the purchase price.
“We heard about it (former hotel) and contacted the previous owners. We got together and made an offer on the building which would get them out of the predicament they were in with the city. At the same time it was something that we would normally take down,” he said.
The condition of the building’s facade, a source of city concerns for months, has worsened recently.
“We talked with Joey Burnham, the building inspector, last night. His concerns were the front of the building had already fallen in some more,” said Bricker.
On Thursday afternoon, as two large dumpsters were delivered in front of the building, Burnham noted that a section of the structure’s front has bowed out more recently.
“We’re putting together with him (Burnham) an emergency demo request. When we get that all approved by the state we’ll immediately take down at least the front part that looks like it’s going to fall down,” said Bricker.
Bricker is hopeful the demolition work will begin sooner than later.
“We’re looking at within a week and a half to two weeks if we have no snags or problems,” he said.
When the building is razed the demolition crew will attempt to recycle as much as possible.
“It’s pretty well been stripped clean. There’s still a few things we can try and salvage like maybe some lumber. We might look at trying to salvage the bricks also,” said Bricker.
Although the former hotel stands only inches from city hall, Bricker does not envision any major issues when taking it down.
“We’re going to pull the building inside instead of knocking it down like most people would think. It’s going to be pulled to the inside so it won’t be a risk to any other buildings,” he said. “It has been stripped and really abused through the years with people not finishing what they started. It’s in a bad state of repair, but it’s still sound enough we can bring it down safely.”
Page 2 of 2 - There are no firm plans for the site’s use once it has been cleared.
“We haven’t made up our mind,” said Bricker. “We thought about possibly making a couple of stores side by side out of a metal building, but that wouldn’t match the surroundings. That’s not necessarily what’s going to happen. It could end up being a paved parking lot. We don’t know.”