HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– After much discussion about trying to save the historic 335 N. Jonathan Street building, it has been demolished.
For the last few months, there was a push to save 335 N. Jonathan Street in Hagerstown after it was initially slated to be demolished. The initial demolition was halted as members of the African American community worked to save the building. However, Preservation Maryland had a structural engineer examine the property. They recommended demolishing the building for safety.
“Our biggest concern was that how the building was twisted and leaning towards the unoccupied property to the south of it, we did not want to have anyone displaced from a property that is slowly collapsing on itself,” said Paul Fulk, neighborhood services manager for the city of Hagerstown.
Reggie Turner is a commissioner with the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture. He helped lead the effort to try and stabilize the building but realized it was safer to demolish it. Although, Turner doesn’t believe it was a lost cause because he says they learned a lot of history during the process.
“We uncover that the Moxley Band was the pride of the Jonathan Street community from 1854 to 1953 when the younger Moxley died,” said Turner.
Going forward Turner says even though the building is no longer there, he and others want to preserve the African American history.
“There’s not a decided use of the property as of yet, we want to keep our ears to the ground and listen to the community in regards to needs and honor the history, but have a modern-day function for the property,” said Turner.