Eighth St. reopened at Fun Shop demo site

Eighth Street is now reopened next to the demolition site of the former Masonic building in downtown Shamokin, seen Friday afternoon.

SHAMOKIN — Demolition contractor Ferdinand Diminick said Friday he hopes to have the remaining debris cleared by the end of next week at the site of the former Masonic building at Eighth and Independence streets.

The building was destroyed by fire Dec. 14.

Other than the basement area below ground, where the Fun Shop store was located, the entire structure is mostly gone. Still noticeable is a final arch on the west side of the former building’s facade that faces Independence Street.

For the first time since the fire, Eighth Street was reopened to vehicular traffic Wednesday afternoon.

By Friday, traffic was moving freely around what is becoming a cleaned up yet gaping hole in the middle of the downtown, where the historic building stood for more than a century.

The building was owned by Clayton Andrews, of Pottsville, who was responsible for the cleanup. He had expressed frustration with his insurance company. At Monday’s City Council meeting, Shamokin administrator Rob Slaby said the company was “dragging its feet” and that Andrews was “trying his best” under difficult circumstances to pay for the cleanup.

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