Sentimental value won’t save the Town Tavern

We agree with Mr. Steve Poorman’s assessment that the Harmon Building at 47-51 Bellefonte Ave., which includes the former Town Tavern, was a structure with great potential at one time.

But once upon a time is a great beginning for a story of long ago … not so much for a vision of the future.

Yes, the downtown building had problems when Mr. Poorman purchased it for just $100, as he has said.

Currently, there’s a hole in the roof, and it’s not a small one.

That building could have its own little weather system inside it.

There likely are also multiple other problems with, and within, the building, considering that hole — which recently became enlarged from further collapse — has been there since at least late last year.

It is a shame that no one was willing to put up the money and elbow grease needed to save the two-story, brick Italianate building, which is reportedly about 130 years old now, at a time when it might have feasibly been saved.

Today, we doubt that its decline can be halted easily … or inexpensively.

The bell has tolled for the Harmon Building.

It tolled some years ago after a rich history of owners who contributed mightily to the city’s economy and quality of life.

The Town Tavern for sure has sentimental value to a lot of people who remember it as a popular bar, lunch spot, and eatery, with a large room off the bar where civic groups met regularly.

But sentimental value won’t save it.

It is only common sense that something be done about the building.

The city officially condemned the building for a reason — or rather, for a number of reasons.

Now the city wants a report on the building’s status.

We believe that is a more than reasonable attitude.

Allowing a building to molder away until it crumbles into a public alley, or onto busy Bellefonte Avenue, is bad.

It’s bad for the neighbors.

It’s bad for the business climate.

It’s bad for the average citizen.

It’s bad all the way around.

In a city where the downtown needs encouragement, this building is currently a symbol of discouragement.

Let us move forward.

At least, let us move on.


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