Piece of Green Ridge History Torn Down

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SCRANTON -- Since a weekend fire that burned out two businesses and left nine people homeless, a lot has happened on East Market Street. Its landscape is forever changed.

"It`s going to hurt a lot of people, I think. Especially those people who were living there," said neighbor Carl Russin.

Russin watched the demolition each day. He and other long-time neighbors in the city's Green Ridge section remembered what this building used to be. It being gone now is like the neighborhood taking a step back.

"It just seemed like Green Ridge was coming back. All the shops were coming in, it seemed the summer was coming in, the doors were open," said Ann Brunetti, who owns nearby Brunetti Pizza.

As crews continued to tear down the building, it revealed a little piece of the building's history, a grocery sign. The building spent most of its life as a market.

Newswatch 16 visited the Lackawanna Historical Society, its employees used city records and maps to research the building's century-long life.

First, a candy store. In the early 1920s, it was The Great A&P Tea Company. Most folks remember it as another market, Betress's.

"They had two butchers at all times, and groceries all over. And upstairs there was, must have been, 4 or 5 families," Russin said.

The owner of the building said it is too early to tell if he will rebuild on the spot. Ann Brunetti, hopes he does so the neighborhood can get back to how it was.

"We all knew each other, and we supported one another. And that was the biggest part of it," she said.

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