Warrensburg's former Oldsmobile dealership razed

WARRENSBURG The character of upper Main Street was recently updated as a building that for nearly a half-century hosted car dealerships was torn down. The hulking two-story building, owned by Jean Hadden and her son Maclane, was demolished Jan. 11. Built in 1940 as Carl Duells Oldsmobile dealership, it hosted Merv Haddens used car headquarters from 1953 to 2003. The building included a showroom, two garage bays, an office and two apartments. Merv and his wife Jean Hadden lived together in the buildings three bedroom apartment upstairs from their marriage in 1959 until Mervs death in 1994. Jean, who writes a column for the Adirondack Journal, lived there until it was substantially damaged in a fire August 14, 2003. Saturday, Jean recalled the blaze, which apparently was ignited the instant power was restored at the conclusion of the Great Northeast Blackout. The electricity came on and a ball of fire shot out of a socket at least a foot, then the curtains caught on fire, Hadden said Saturday. It was the weirdest thing I ever saw. The basic structure withstood the blaze, but Jeans collection of local artifacts suffered a loss. Thousands of newspapers, detailing Warrensburg-area history and arranged in stacks throughout her apartment, were destroyed. Most all her scrapbooks, photos and memorabilia survived, however. The building has remained uninhabited since the blaze, and Jean has spent the past four years removing her historic artifacts and household goods from the premises. The demolition of the building Jan. 11 seemed to end a chapter in Warrensburgs history, Jean said Saturday. When workers ripped into the stucco-faced walls, Jean wept as she sat in her car across the street., she said. Warrensburg Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty said this week he was pleased about the new look on upper Main Street, and it was good that the building, which was potentially hazardous, was now gone. They did an excellent job in cleaning up the site, he said. And, it opens up a prime commercial lot for development.

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