ASHLAND -- The last of a longtime eyesore has come crashing down, signaling the end of the demolition process and the beginning of revitalization for the former Pump House Ministries property.
Page Excavating tore down the final remaining wall at the downtown Ashland site on Thursday.
“For more than 20 years, the Pump House manufacturing building has been deteriorating in the geographic center of our downtown. It has been the site of a fire, all sorts of illicit activities,” Mayor Matt Miller said. “And for these two decades, our citizens have wanted to see this building go away, and we finally saw the last wall come down this week.”
The demolition began earlier this year with asbestos removal from inside the buildings, and the first bricks were knocked from the building August 18.
Now, Miller is looking to the future. He says the next step at the Pump House property is to remove and recycle the steel rebar that protrudes from the ground. Then, Page Excavating will crush and haul away the concrete.
Also before winter weather arrives, the intent is for topsoil to be brought in and grass seed planted.
“I think the cleanup of the Pump House area is so symbolic of what we’re trying to do all across the city,” Miller said. “We want to clean up the blight, whether it’s a house abandoned in a residential neighborhood or whether it's an old abandoned commercial building.
“Our goal is to breathe life into this city.”
The city’s long term plan for the corridor, Miller continued, is to transform Fourth Street from a one-way to a two-way street and to then develop apartments, offices, and other mixed-used properties.
He went on to say that the Ashland County Land Bank is currently in the process of acquiring the former Pump House office building with intentions to renovate and save that building.
“I think that’s important because it preserves an important part of our history,” Miller said, noting that the buildings were once associated with the F.E. Meyers Pump Company.