Life after ClarkPublished 5:48pm Monday, March 19, 2012
BUCHANAN — The last reminder of the days of Clark Equipment Co. is gone.
Demolition of the old Clark Equipment complex in Buchanan was completed this month with the last standing wall torn down last Thursday, noticeably changing the city’s skyline, as City Manager Bill Marx noted in an interview Monday.
Marx said the removal of the buildings is bittersweet for the community.
“I, along with everyone else, shed a tear for the buildings and what they represented,” he said. “But I also view what happened as our new frontier.”
The project, which included the razing of a 200,000-square-foot building on River Street, was done much more quickly than anticipated due to the mild winter in the area. The project began last fall and cleanup is expected to be complete this week.
Clark Equipment came to Buchanan in the early 1900s and was a landmark in the community, employing thousands of people, until the company left in the 1980s.
“It (the old buildings) really stood for the perception that we had better times, but the world has changed. And we’re moving forward,” Marx said.
The removal of the buildings will hopefully open the door for new businesses to build or expand in Buchanan, Marx said.
The owner of the site is Brian Kilgore, who left one of the buildings standing to house his machine shop, K&S Consultants. Marx said Kilgore plans to refurbish the building and hopes to hire a few employees in the coming years.
“The building is in pretty rough shape,” Marx said. “So Brian will be doing it as he can. I really believe in his desire to achieve.”
Marx said the foundations of the buildings remain, and he hopes they can be used for a new building project in the future.
“It’s a good location not far from the bypass,” Marx said.
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