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Commercial District Shrinks

<p><strong>Demolotion crew</strong>. The 103-year old historic building at the intersection of First and Broadway was demolished last week. The building was damaged by a storm in April.</p>

Demolotion crew. The 103-year old historic building at the intersection of First and Broadway was demolished last week. The building was damaged by a storm in April.

<p><strong>Cornerstone.</strong> Dubbed the C.J. Murphy Building, the building was built in 1911 according to the cornerstone.</p>

Cornerstone. Dubbed the C.J. Murphy Building, the building was built in 1911 according to the cornerstone.

<p><strong>Getting ready</strong>. Building owner Harold Robinson moves some of the lumber that was salvaged from the building prior to demolition.</p>

Getting ready. Building owner Harold Robinson moves some of the lumber that was salvaged from the building prior to demolition.

<p><strong>Metal removal</strong>. Piled behind a fence since the Sunday night storm in April, metal, mostly from the upper floor of the building was hauled away last Thursday.</p>

Metal removal. Piled behind a fence since the Sunday night storm in April, metal, mostly from the upper floor of the building was hauled away last Thursday.

The Booneville Commercial Historic District is losing a member.

The April 13 storm that blew portions of the second floor of the building at 128 North Broadway into Broadway, onto vehicles across the street and through the window at Crowley’s Service Center, will be razed.

Harold Robinson, who owns the building, is likely to rebuild the spot, but the focus for now is getting rid of the eyesore that has remained for three months.

In June of 2013 the building, dubbed the C.J. Murphy Building when it was built in 1911 according to the cornerstone, was part of a group in the 100-200 block of North Broadway that was jointly recognized as the Booneville Commercial District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the country’s official list of historically significant properties.

The Booneville Historic Preservation Society led the effort seeking National Registry inclusion. The effort began in 2011.

BHPS secretary Vanessa Wyrick said there were no restrictions to prevent removal of the building and, if anything, the only effect to the district would be a shrinking in size.

Lumber from the building was salvaged, the metal pushed into a pile on the south side of the building was removed Thursday and after the walls were knocked down, salvaging the bricks began.

State Revenue Office and the offices of Eccles Pediatric and Internal Medicine, previous tenants of the building, moved into new facilities and reopened within a week of the Sunday night storm.

The commercial district is one of two in Booneville. Covering 900 acres and the largest in the country, the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium Historic District earned historic district designation in 2006.

Also listed on the National Registry are the Bank of Booneville building at 1 West Main — currently the Andrews Agency — (1978), Farmers and Merchants Bank/Masonic Lodge at 288 North Broadway (1993), the Logan County Courthouse, Southern Judicial District at the corner of Fourth and North Broadway (1997), and most recently, the Booneville Methodist Episcopal Church South in 2011.

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