The city of Hagerstown is planning to demolish an abandoned building on 335 Jonathan Street.
Paul Fulk, Neighborhood Services Manager with the city, says the building is in immenint danger of collapsing.
“It’s had significant deterioration since the last inspection in 2008,” said Fulk.
The building is known by many in the Jonathan Street neighborhood as the ‘Chicken Coop.’
On Monday, Reggie Turner encouraged those against the demolition to call city hall and express their displeasure with the plans.
“This home has significant history, we need to pause,” said Turner who represents Washington County on the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture.
Turner has traced the home’s history back hundreds of years.
“The Moxley Band lived in that home. They joined the U.S. Colored Troops in 1863, and they were a showpiece band for the Army.
The place has been a home, a soul food restaurant and a big a part of the almost forgotten historically black neighborhood.
“I think we need to dig deeper because in one week’s time I’ve had a historian [find] amazing information about Hagerstown and the Jonathan Street community that has never been talked about by a local historian,” continued Turner.
Some who have lived in the community for most of their lives have other ideas for what should happen to the building.
“We should have this building for the homeless,” shared Willie Collier who has lived in the neighborhood for 26 years.
Turner says he is reaching out to several nonprofits about securing emergency funding to save the structure from demolition.