Local Matters

Community Sponsors

August 6, 2008 - 9:53am

Demolition in Le Roy: Tearing down the Temple

posted by Philip Anselmo in Le Roy, Walgreen's, Masons.

About a year ago, the owners of the Le Roy Masonic Temple on West Main Street near the intersection with Lake Street "agreed to an option to Walgreen's" to tear down the temple and the buildings on either side of it—including a vacant gasoline station and a numismatist—to make way for a retail pharmacy. Residents in the village were understandably shaken by the news. Village historian Lynne Belluscio admitted that she was overwhelmed by requests to know more about the historic temple that was at least a century old. She responded via an article that was run in the Le Roy Pennysaver last July.

The building is pictured in the book The Architectural Heritage of Genesee County, New York. It is described as a "simple Romanesque revival design in vogue in the mid-nineteenth century. Stylistic features include the arcaded decorative molding at the roofline, the ocular window in the gable end and the use of the Romanesque arch for window and door openings." Those of you who remember the difference between a Gothic arch and a Roman arch, know that the Roman arch is rounded and the Gothic arch is pointed.

Plywood boards now occupy that Roman arch. Chain-link fence runs the length of the sidewalk in front of the temple and its neighbors and wraps around the corner, around a pair of vacant homes on Lake Street. Demolition is set to begin on Monday. Walgreen's plans to start construction in about a month, once the debris is cleared.

In her article, Belluscio tells about the history of the site, tied in even to the fate of the notorious anti-Mason William Morgan. I can't say if anyone plans to visit the site Monday to bid the structure adieu. But surely, I hope, someone will be there.

The history of a building, (writes Belluscio), allows us an opportunity to examine the history of our community and the Masonic Lodge in Le Roy has played a significant role in the history of Western New York.

Darrick Coleman
Darrick Coleman's picture
Last seen: 9 years 11 months ago
Joined: Jun 18 2008 - 10:54am
What a shame. I don't know what's wrong with the Rite Aid, and the Tops pharmacy already in LeRoy. I hate seeing olde Main Streets' demolished for the likes of a Walgreens. I have a hard time believing that it will "revitalize" downtown, I guess only time will tell.
Howard B. Owens
Howard B. Owens's picture
Last seen: 1 week 5 days ago
Joined: Apr 23 2008 - 3:05pm
The last thing any town in Western New York needs is another chain pharmacy. What LeRoy, like any town, needs is to retain it's local heritage, it's sense of place. This is sad news. Tearing down city blocks in the name of progress never works.
John Roach
John Roach's picture
Last seen: 3 months 4 days ago
Joined: May 29 2008 - 5:22am
The problem is that business there was dead, or they would not have sold the building. High taxes, high utility rates, high minimum wage rates and too much regulation and red tape drive out small business. True, big chain stores don't help, but they are not the casue of the problem. On top of that, we have lost population, making it hard for small downtown business to keep going. You need people and we are losing ours.
Russ Stresing
Russ Stresing's picture
Last seen: 11 years 11 months ago
Joined: May 19 2008 - 5:04pm
The big chains go where the business lives. Big businesses face the same redtape, cost of labor (sometimes they pay more), utility bills, but they enjoy an economy of scale that a single store can't begin to match. They can buy the same product cheaper because of their buying power. Instead of dedicating a branch employee to handle the administration of salary and benefits, they have a central payroll office. Their corporate lawyers take care of all the permits and licenses. And so on and so on. Sure, sometimes there's a tax break, but they don't usually go to drugstore chains. These companies are able to expand because they have a good business plan and whopping financial resources to implement it. If they had thought that there wasn't money to be made in that spot, we wouldn't be having this discussion. It is a shame that a building with such an interesting history is lost, but like John said, no local entity matched their offer. The original owner of the property can't pay his bills with history, so he sold. Walgreen saw a profitable opportunity and went to Leroy. And for all the downside that comes with the situation, there will be people working and sales tax being collected where yesterday there was a deserted, boarded up building. Lemons and lemonade, I guess.
daniel cherry
daniel cherry's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 6 2008 - 2:21pm
what ever happened to the creekside is it still there?Along time ago i used to go to the buttermilk falls it is so beutiful there id say its one of genesee counties hidden what would ya call it?One of our wonders like the 7 wonders of the world.Is it posted.Someday i want to go there and pay my respects to my friend who died there Jerry Guard.It is dangerous at nigh especailly ever see it?Leroy is so beutiful
Last seen: 1 year 3 weeks ago
Joined: Jul 9 2008 - 10:45am
OK OK OK- Has anyone else been by the torn down corner in leroy latley.Theres a block wall started that looks the start of a prison.It's got to be 30 feet high and getting longer and taller everyday On the positive side of things.The workers look like they keep a clean job site , being so clustered in such a little space with all the equiptment coming and going. Main St. and RT. 19 are being kept clean as well.
Bea McManis
Bea McManis's picture
Last seen: 12 years 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 12 2008 - 12:02pm
Haven't been there in a while. Does this mean LeRoy will have a skyline? Will this be the new pharmacy? Is another pharmacy really needed?

Which poses another question...what business are really needed in our area?

Ron C Welker
Ron C Welker's picture
Last seen: 6 years 1 month ago
Joined: May 30 2008 - 7:10am
Bea, how about quality shoe stores? sure could use one.
Bea McManis
Bea McManis's picture
Last seen: 12 years 2 months ago
Joined: Jul 12 2008 - 12:02pm
Ron wrote, "Bea, how about quality shoe stores? sure could use one. " in response to what stores are really needed in this community. I agree, a quality shoe store is a good start.

Post new comment

Log in or register to post comments



Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button