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Demolition voted No. 2 story

January 2, 2013

Demolition began at night

    It stood there tall and somewhat overpowering at one of the main downtown intersections. In its heyday, when the downtown was vibrant, full of retail shops and shoppers, the corner building at Second and Monroe streets was alive with hustle and bustle.
    Holthouse Drug Co. was the place where one could purchase a greeting card, writing materials, "notions" and just about anything imaginable. And, of course, you could get your prescriptions filled with a smile from people like Louie Jacobs and Bob Holthouse and Dan Freeby.
    The corner building also provided a lunch counter/snack bar where many of the downtown workers came for lunch and the opportunity to swap stories with people they would see every day and/or people they had not run into for a long time.
    Then, as it inevitably does, change came. Businesses left downtown, malls and strip malls began springing up, and chain drug stores moved in. Eventually, Holthouse Drug closed and a sweeper repair shop took over the building.
    That business began to fail and, eventually, the building became an eyesore and the interior was a wreck. The City of Decatur brought the building for $25,000 and hired Fleming Excavating, the low bidder at $145,000, to demolish the building.
    That was accomplished a few weeks ago and now a large bare space is all that's left of a different time in Decatur.
    The background story and the eventual demolition drew considerable attention in the city and the area and, in a poll of Daily Democrat workers, it was voted the No. 2 story of 2012.

 

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