Demolition to begin on vacant building in downtown Clarendon

A building rich with architectural features in downtown Clarendon is set to be demoed by work crews in the days ahead (Drew Powell ABC 7 News)

The land where the Antro Hotel later renamed the Donley Hotel stood in downtown Clarendon will soon have a different look. Demolition on what remains of the building is scheduled to begin on Thursday. The building was constructed in 1926 and opened as the Antro Hotel in 1927. Historians believe after around 20 years the hotel was renamed and thrived until the early 1970’s.

“It’s a piece of Clarendon’s history that we hate to see it go but its time has come and gone,” said Roger Estlack, Clarendon EDC secretary.

The Clarendon EDC purchased the building and had plans to renovate it as part of downtown revitalization. Straight line winds on July 29 damaged the building beyond repairs. The city is having the building demoed and is trying to figure out what to do with the property once all the rubble is hauled away. First comes demolition which begins with preparations on Thursday.

“It will be done multiple different ways to protect the adjacent structures and adjacent infrastructure,” said David Dockery, city administrator. “They’ll do the initial tear down which will be done by hand and then they will take it down mechanically.”

“The EDC Board has an overall goal of improving the downtown,” said Estlack. “We’ve been working on the Mulkey Theater which is just down the street and some other properties. This is going to be part of the economic improvement for downtown.”

The city is looking over viable economic options before announcing what it plans to do with the property. Estlack tells ABC 7 News in order to preserve the history the plan is to re-use many of the features for a yet to be determined structure.

“We would like to save some of the architecture features of this old building and maybe re-incorporate them in an outdoor space,” said Estlack. “Whatever is built we hope it will be used for many different things.”

Once demolition is complete crews have 30 days to haul away the rubble. When the hotel was in its prime it was also home to a restaurant, hardware store and banquet area in the basement of the building.

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