Crews begin demolition of fire-damaged building - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Crews begin demolition of fire-damaged downtown Iowa City buildings

Bit by bit, the Bruegger's Bagels building in Iowa City is becoming a thing of the past.

Judy Liskin-Gasparro has lived in Iowa City for 19 years.

She made it a ritual to stop in the downtown Bruegger's for coffee on the way to work.

The building stood on Iowa Avenue for more than 100 years.  Passersby stopped to get one final glimpse as it was torn down Tuesday.

"That building is a historic artifact and it's really a shame that it's lost forever," Liskin-Gasparro, said.

Tom Baldridge with Iowa City Friends of Historic Preservation says the absences of the Bruegger's building and the heavily damaged Van Patten House were expected, yet significant.

"It's unfortunate but it's also a fact of life that you realize the reason these buildings were so damaged by the fire was because of the nature of construction in the late 1800's and early 1900's," Baldridge said.

The historic nature of this area presented some challenges for demolition crews.

The Bruegger's building had to come down slowly because of the close proximity of its neighbors.

Janis Finkelman of Iowa City lives in the neighboring Vogel House and had thought about the potential hazards of the demolition.

"I hope there isn't too much damage to either of these buildings on either side from this. They've already been through a lot," she said.

Slowly, but surely, it's the end of an era, and many are awaiting what comes next for this historic site.

A company spokesperson for Bruegger's says the company will rebuild on the site. 

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