VALE, ORE. - More than 10 months after an iconic building collapsed in downtown Vale, the cleanup is finally underway.
“It's not the most attractive thing left in the middle of your downtown…a demolished building," Lynn Findley, Vale City Manager, said.
That’s all that’s left of the Golden Slipper, a former steakhouse and then a landmark for many. It was full of history, a place of memories and was even built with locally made bricks. For more than 100 years it stood in the heart of downtown.
"It was the place to go for two or three generations of people," Findley said.
For the last decade, the building hasn’t been used and was in disrepair. In January, it collapsed under the weight of snow.
"It was a public safety issue because the walls were still standing, brick walls with no support, so we folded it into itself until we could establish ownership of it,” Findley said.
That’s why it’s taken more than 10 months to clean up the rubble. The city needed to find the owner and get permission to remove it.
“We knew exactly who the owner was,” Findley said. “The problem was the corporation had been dissolved for six years."
The county stepped in to help. The property taxes hadn’t been paid on the building in four years, so they were able to foreclose on it and become the owner.
Some are sad to see it go since it was a community gathering point -- weddings, parties and other events had been held there.
“There's a lot of memories there. I worked in there when I was 14 years old,” Findley said. "There wasn't anything left to rebuild. Structurally, the building had collapsed, the walls had pushed out and caved in, and there was nothing to rebuild from."
Even those locally made bricks couldn’t be salvaged.
"We had a geologist come in and check these bricks, and they aren't sandstone everybody thinks they are. It's a volcanic tuff,” Edwards said. "There's properties in it that could be harmful to people's health."
Once this cleanup process is finished the plan is to turn this property into a gravel lot. That is expected to be done by the end of November.
As for future plans, city and county officials are still trying to figure that out.
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