Remains Of Destroyed Buildings Cleaned Up Ahead Wagoner Bluegrass And Chili Festival

Thursday, August 30th 2018, 10:48 pm
By: Brian Dorman

In one week the Bluegrass and Chili Festival will begin in Wagoner. Crews have been working to clear away what was left of six historic building destroyed in two separate fires in 2017.

Over the last six months workers took down the face of each building, the bricks were cleaned, numbered and one day will go back up.

"Since the last time you were here we've made significant improvements," said Wagoner Mayer Albert Jones. "We're just trying to put our best face forward. From the outside, it looked easy but from the guys on the inside it was very difficult."

A major project finished one week early. The area looked completely different in the summer of 2017 when flames quickly jumped from one building to the next.

07/31/17 Related Story: Wagoner Businesses Hope To Reopen Soon After Massive Fire

Another fire in December only made the situation worse.            

12/27/2017 Related Story: Fire Damages Downtown Wagoner Building

"I know our community and the passersby definitely wanted it cleaned up,” said Jones.

Around three weeks ago a storm helped with the demolition. A viewer was able to capture incredible video of one of the walls coming down.

08/08/2018 Related Story: Wagoner Wall Knocked Down By Wind A 'Blessing In Disguise'

"I was recording the fence and then when I started recording I got the building falling over," said Toni Medlin.

On Thursday Toni gave her reaction to the empty lot across from her work.

“It looks really weird because there's always been buildings there," said Toni.

And the mayor says one day there will be buildings there again. Down a bumpy dirt road is a barn where the faces of those historic buildings are being stored.

"Here's like the window seals, the window ledges that they had, some of the capstones from the buildings. Everything is marked and organized,” said Jones.

Over the next few years, these bricks will be the face of new buildings.

So while the space will be a showcase for live music next weekend, the mayor says one day it will be lined with new businesses with those historic bricks facing the street.