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Rosebud makes way for parking in Kittanning

| Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Bill Shirley
A building that most recently housed a flower shop in the 300 block of Market Street in Kittanning is demolished by the Rosebud Mining to make way for a new company parking lot, Tuesday February 20, 2013. Bill Shirley | For The Leader Times

KITTANNING — A pile of rubble and a gaping space in the row of buildings on the south side of the 300 block of Market Street is all that remains of the building that once housed a flower shop.

And that is not the only building slated to come down along that section of the county seat's main street.

According to Ken Opalka, assistant land manager with Rosebud Mining Co., the building next door, which formerly housed the Columbia Theater is ready for demolition.

“The buildings were in pretty bad shape,” Opalka said.

He said the space will be used for employee parking and anticipates work to begin this summer after the ground settles.

Rosebud also purchased the two Market Square Sgro buildings, Opalka said.

Razing those buildings are pending an asbestos survey and removal, he said, adding that there are no immediate plans for the site.

Turney Luke, who has owned the 700 Shop at 117 Market St., for the past 30 years, said Rosebud has had a positive impact on the town.

“They've done a wonderful job remodeling the old Thompson Building on the corner (of Market and North McKean Street) where the drug store used to be,” said Luke, adding that Rosebud probably spent more money remodeling than it would have if it tore down the building.

Luke said he remembered Bauers Flowers and recalled how busy it had been.

But, he said, even though people have memories of stores in town, things can't stay the same.

People move on, move away or retire.

“I hate to see buildings go,” Luke said.

“But if (Rosebud) has a plan to make improvements, that's a good thing for the town.”

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or bbeatty@tribweb.com.

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