Abandoned Dickson City Walmart Coming Down

DICKSON CITY -- It's a tear-down 20 years in the making. A popular plaza in Dickson City has been haunted by an old ghost of a former big box store.

Walmart is finally coming down.

"It was a real eyesore," said Lucy Burke of Hawley. "I'm very glad to see that they're finally doing something with the property."

"Yes, and such a waste of all the beautiful flowers that are planted in front of it," added Charlotte Stone of Ararat Township.

Wegmans has maintained the area around it all this time. The grocery store chain now owns the Walmart property.

Ken Quandt of Dalton just moved to Lackawanna County and doesn't know about the old Walmart's interesting history.

"I wondered why it was empty," said Quandt. "I thought maybe it closed two years ago or three years ago. I didn't know it was around so long."

It was 1996 when falling rocks from the adjacent mountain threatened the safety of the building. Walmart built a new store in another part of Dickson City.

Wegmans says the first order of business is taking the old building down to the foundation before any development. Wegmans hopes to attract other businesses that could complement theirs.

Demolition is expected to take a few weeks.

2 comments

  • Franko from the Original Store 1884

    Actually, the store first had the rock problem before it even opened to the public. I was a former employee of the former Walmart #1884 store that was part of the original setup crew when there were just4 walls and half a ceiling. I believe it was September of 1992(?) when the first rock slide happened, damaging the receiving area and the store, which was not yet opened to the public, stopped it’s setup operation for a few weeks while the damage was repaired. The incident was considered nothing of major significance and the store actualyl had t-shirts made up for all of us employees that said “Wal*Mart #1884 – Rock The House”, all because of the original incident.
    Then there were a few other small dirt/rock slide incidents that didn’t cause damage but prompted, if memories serves correctly, to have those small concrete median construction barriers to be placed out back to prevent any mud slide type of action from coming to the building. I believe WalMart was in a litigation lawsuit for years over the property with the original developer. Personally, the building was build too close to the step mountain behind it which was all excavated land that was dug out to build those buildings to begin with. There was just enough room between the back of the building and the mountain to drive a truck between them, which showed the potential for problems right from the get-go. Eventually, from a few years of rain run off and ice/snow doing what nature does best to rock structures, the massive slide happened, which caused extensive damage to the building and it’s eventual closure, which then caused the store to sit idle all these years. Store #1884 then relocated to Taylor, temporarily, where the old Jamesway Plaza was, and eventually the Dickson City Crossings development was made and store #1884 once again found it’s way back into Dickson City. As a side story, the temporary site in Taylor was where the previous Jamesway department store was (Jamesway went backrupt and closed and the property was mostly abandoned). Eventually that entire plaza was also razed and the new Taylor Plaza and Taylor Walmart was built in it’s place.

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