Demolition begins at Cornerstone Building in East Springfield - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Demolition begins at Cornerstone Building in East Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

Demolition began Wednesday at a longtime troubled landmark in East Springfield.

The Cornerstone Lounge on Page Boulevard has been an area riddled with crime in recent years and residents as well as city officials celebrated the news that it will finally be torn down.

"It's caused neighbors to move out, this building has caused neighbors to not get sleep at night," said Kathleen Brown, East Springfield neighborhood council president. "Neighbors have had to come and pick up trash and debris. They've had particularly foul language unfortunately there was even a murder that was related to this particular facility."

Brown says she's been fighting for this day for years.

"This is something people have been hoping for, people have been dreaming for, but never thought would happen," said Brown. "So, it's like a miracle."

The building was built back in 1924. In its day it was described as a wonderful community asset. But, in years since it has become a location known for its issues.

"There has been shootings, there's been deaths there, there's been a lot of drug dealings it was just the wrong clientele for this neighborhood," said Gilbert Perron, the East Springfield neighborhood council vice president .

The property was bought by Genden Auto Parts and once demolished will be used to help revitalize the area.

"Well we have a plan to put a parking lot in. Not just a paved asphalt area but green space around it, nice wrought-iron fence and it should add to the aesthetics to our adjacent building, the terrace and the library that's here," said John Lamoureux, who is the owner of Genden Auto Parts and the property in which the Cornerstone Lounge sits.

As neighbors watched this one-time landmark come down they say they can't wait for the next chapter in this neighborhood to begin.

"A lot of secrets are being buried today, but it's a good thing," said Perron.

The parking lot will also be used for the city's library located right next door.

Demolition is expected to be finished Wednesday after that crews will spend two weeks picking up and then work on the parking lot will begin.

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