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Demolition of Sewickley Country Inn begins

| Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, 1:41 p.m.
Sewickey Herald
A motorist passes the site of the former Sewickley Country Inn on Ohio River Boulevard Monday, Jan. 21, 2013. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald

The former Sewickley Country Inn's days are numbered.

While the iconic landmark that has welcomed travelers to Sewickley for nearly 50 years will live on in the Tom Cruise movie “Jack Reacher” that filmed on the site in 2011, the several buildings that made up the former motel and banquet facility soon could be a pile of rubble, Sewickley Mayor Brian Jeffe said.

Crews began preparations to tear down the facility Tuesday afternoon, borough Manager Kevin Flannery said.

“It's an eyesore and it's a safety concern,” Mayor Brian Jeffe said. “We fenced the whole thing off but we still had kids in there.”

Trespassers have gained access to motel rooms and other parts of the property since the inn closed in 2009.

Sewickley police on Jan. 11 found three juveniles on the site, according to a police report.

The youths told police they were looking for a missing skateboard part, the report said.

MCM Ventures, under developer Cody Mueller, has proposed redeveloping the area located at Route 65 and Boundary Street into office space and single-family homes.

Mueller could not be reached for comment.

In 2010, Sewickley resident Michael Lyons challenged the borough council's and zoning hearing board's decision to re-zone the property of the former Country Inn as a multi-use development.

A Commonwealth Court decision last year stated Lyons' challenge must be heard by the borough zoning board. The zoning board is expected to discuss the issue Feb. 5.

No matter what is developed at the former Sewickley Country Inn, the property has the potential to be a gateway to Sewickley, Jeffe said.

“All I want now is to tear that thing down,” he said. “While it was great to see it in the Tom Cruise movie … movie's out. Filming's done. Tear it down.”

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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