As Petersburg buildings come down, many are hopeful, some angry

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PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR)--Tuesday, the Virginia National Guard tore down two buildings, continuing their Petersburg transformation through demolition.

"We call this the avenue," says Orlando Harrison, standing near a recently demolished building.

"I came in this area in 1967 to go to school and I'm telling you, this was a bustling place" he said with a smile that held many memories.

The buildings were in an area known as the “Triangle.”

"It was huge, I mean the reason that it was even created was because we had to support our own community" said Pat Hines.

The National Guard has been in Petersburg about two weeks, demolishing homes in the city and now the buildings in the triangle.

For some, the demolition on "The Avenue" and around "The Triangle" needs to stop, before the fabric of what made that community thrive for decades is all gone.

For the past two decades, a handful of buildings have come down on their own, several of them falling into the street and forcing the city to raze them.

Now city leaders, like Council Member Howard Myers of Ward Five, say that the time is ripe to revitalize the area.

 "It's important to remove some of the dilapidated structures so that we can start rebuilding in the area and try to rebuild what this community is about,” said Myers.

Hines, President of the Triangle Center for Development, agreed with that statement.

 "Well we have been encouraging the city to do the demolition, to remove the blight. We look at this as an opportunity as a clean slate for us.  Just imagine all the possibilities of what it can be".

Now both Myers and Hines hope, the remaining building owners, some who live outside of Petersburg, will take the cue to renovate their properties.


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