MUNCY — It looks as though an old woolen mill in Lycoming County will have to be torn down even though it is historic.
The high wind and rain before the weekend caused part of the property in Muncy to collapse.
Borough leaders say even though the old mill is in a historical zone, it’s no longer safe. So, the brick building has to be torn down after a recent st
orm started the job.
The damage is done at the old Muncy Woolen Mill along South Market Street. Fierce winds left a gaping hole in the side of the mill and all the bricks on the ground narrowly missing the NAPA Auto Parts building next door.
“Jokingly was telling them I wasn’t going to work in my office anymore because I knew that place was going to come down,” said Robert Temple of Napa Auto Parts.
Temple is a manager at NAPA and figures any more strong winds could lead to more damage at the mill.
Since the storm on Friday, the building has been condemned. Borough leaders say they are worried about safety and security enough to push the building’s owner Andritz to demolish it.
“It’s too bad. It’s an old building that could have had some use some years ago, way past its prime date,” said neighbor Michael Wood.
According to local history buffs, the Muncy Woolen Mill was built in the late 1800s to help supply blankets to those in the Civil War. But ever since then, there have been changes in ownership. For at least 20 years now, it has been vacant, deteriorating, until this point it’s at now.
“It’s sad because the building has such great history in Muncy, generations of Muncyians have worked here when it was a mill or Weldon’s making pajamas,” said Bill Poulton of the Muncy Historical Society.
Poulton is executive director of the Muncy Historical Society and says the mill is a good example of what happens when an old building doesn’t get the kind of maintenance it needs to stay intact.
“A good wind storm comes along, there you go, it gets blown off. It’s got to come down, it’s a safety issue.”
Andritz, the company that owns the old mill, did not get back to us for comment.
Muncy officials say they’re working with the company to get the building torn down as soon as possible but that could still be weeks, if not months away.