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Former Elementary School and Century-Old Building Demolished

KINGSTON, Pa. -- A building that was more than a century old came tumbling down Monday in Luzerne County.

People crowded around the former Frederick Corss Elementary School along Cuba Street in Kingston to get one final glimpse before it was reduced to rubble. The ground shook as the brick building was knocked to the ground. People stood by and took pictures.

"The whole neighborhood is out for the last couple of days, the streets have been filled with people," Josh Karis of Kingston said.

The place, built in 1915, was once home to Frederick Corss Elementary School. Then in the 1970s, furniture was manufactured there by Target Table. The building then sat empty for the past 15 years.

Jack Ross' father went to school there. Ross grew up in this neighborhood. He wrote his name on the side of the building as a kid.

"That's the sad part to see my name, after all those years, to see it go, but times change," Ross said.

Kingston Mayor Paul Roberts said demolition crews should be there for about 10 days to clear up all of this debris. In the meantime, Cuba Street will be closed.

People we spoke to in Kingston said they are happy to see this eyesore go.

"It just became so dangerous. The glass was always falling out of the windows. Of course, who knows who is in there. In the summertime, you could just smell it, it was moldy," Karis said.

"There was no roof left. It just went right through, you could see right through the roof. So that's why you couldn't save it," Ross said.

Neighbors said in recent years, teenagers started making their way inside the vacant building, and it was dangerous.

"Getting inside the doors, and you don't even know if the floors were caved in or not. It was a bad situation there," Leona Martin said.

"Even an empty lot that's clean will be an improvement," Karis said.

The borough of Kingston now owns the lot. Mayor Roberts said there are no plans just yet what it will be used for next.


  • savescrantonhistory

    I guess no one has ever heard of gutting a building and starting over using the exterior walls and any steel frame inside? It’s just easier to tear things down and make a vacant lot. That’s what happened with the former Casey Hotel in Scranton in 2001. It took the HUGE, heavy wrecking ball THREE swings to get through part of one of the top walls of the old hotel. So the exterior structure was still solid, even if the interior was destroyed by the former owner(s) and scrappers gutting it for metal.

    Either way this story jumps from the 1970’s when the last business was in it to saying that it sat vacant for 15 years. Why not just say it closed in 2004?

    • Fuji086

      Rarely anyone these days want to use the structures of old to build upon. They’d just rather throw up some cheaply made, tear-down and leave it at that.

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