It looks as though all the efforts to restore the old Hotel Sterling in Wilkes-Barre were for nothing. Now there are plans to demolish the 113-year old landmark that overlooks the Susquehanna River.
The Hotel Sterling was built in 1897. It was abandoned about 13 years ago and has seen better days. For the last decade or so there were plans to restore the historic hotel, but now it appears the building will be demolished.
Plans have come and gone to restore the historic Hotel Sterling in Wilkes-Barre. A group called Citivest took ownership of the property in 2002.
Since then about $6 million in federal tax money and casino profits were poured into the property.
A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission confirms that "representatives of Citivest and Susquehanna Realty, developers and owners of the building, advised them of their proposal to tear down the Hotel Sterling. Since they are using federal funds for the tear down, they must go through a process which includes consulting with the PHMC insuring that they had considered other preservation alternatives."
The idea that the hotel may be demolished is not sitting well with people who spoke to Newswatch 16.
"That's a total waste, they put all that money into it and now they are tearing it down," said Debbie Jayne of Hunlock Creek.
"Just another way of the government using our money and spending it foolishly," said Gracelynn Williamson of Scranton.
Luzerne County Commissioner Stephen Urban said although it would have been nice to restore the structure, the $6 million spent on the property has not gone to waste.
"Cleaning the building up, taking the asbestos out again, taking down the tower that was next to it, demolition cost, acquiring the parking lot, some of the money has been well spent and some of the money been spent on developers too," Urban said.
He added once the building comes down the county will try and retake control of the land. County officials want to see something built there that will put taxes back into the economy.
There is no word when demolition could take place. Officials from Citivest did not return calls seeking comment.
This article was written by Jim Murdoch and published by WNEP 16
on Wednesday, March 16th 2011 and NOT owned by nor affiliated with opacity.us, but are recorded here solely for educational use. The photographs featured in the article are randomly selected from the Hotel Sterling galleries on opacity.us
unless noted otherwise; they may not directly relate to the article subject matter except for the site location - any other relation is purely coincidental.