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Teardown begins on Hamburg’s historic Main Street

The heart of Hamburg’s flood-stricken Main Street is getting demolished
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 9:12 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The heart of Hamburg’s historic Main Street is getting torn down in another step in this flood-stricken town’s road to recovery from 2019′s historic flooding.

“That’s actually where the foundation has settled the whole corner has come down,” said Alan Dovel, Public Works Director with the City of Hamburg, as he pointed to a gaping hole one of the buildings being torn down.

It’s being demolished, along with along with four others marking Hamburg’s historic downtown strip.

“This actually was a little apartment where people were living,” pointed out Dovel, as he entered the first building under demolition; down the hall he points out more damage. “This is some ofl the junk they had to clear out to d o the asbestos removal they had a bunch of 9 inch asbestos tile on the floor.”

A walk up the stairs reveals more space, holding more memories.

“This used to be a ballroom, you can see the stage up there and it had a movie theatre projection room back here. In it’s time it was a beautiful place,” said Dovel, notingnow it’s a dangerous place, like the other buildings set to be torn down, it’s very unstable.

Main Street was under several feet of water for weeks on end, including the local drugstore, Stoner Drug; it’s been around since 1896.

“There’s always a little sadness to see the change,” said Phillip Kuhr, manager of Stoner Drug, noting he understands it’s time for the buildings to go. “You don’t want somebody wandering through town and a building collapses on them, you don’t want that,” said Kuhr with a bit of a laugh; keeping a sense of humor as they continue to comeback.

“But what do they say? ‘From the ashes something beautiful will rise.’ Well, maybe that’s what’s happening,” said Kuhr.

The City of Hamburg estimates the cost of demolition to come in at roughly a million dollars, which will be covered by the state’s flood relief funds.

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