This morning, as construction crews set about demolishing the front half of Harrison's Hardware, Milford citzens took to Facebook to discuss their feelings on the partial tearing down of a Milford landmark.
Kim Fleming wrote, "More memories just went into a pile of rubble...so sad" and another Milford resident commented, "Not happy. This should have been a protected landmark."
Robert Kurfehs, however, wrote, "The building was not redeemable. Progress!"
What's Staying, What's Gone
"The front of the building won't stand on it's own," co-owner Ken Martin told Milford Patch today via phone. "We've done everything that we said we would."
Martin added that they tried to keep as much of the wood flooring as possible. "It was such a beautiful floor," but noted that "there was a lot of oil damage."
Colony Grill first announced that they were coming to Milford in June of 2012, with Ken Martin saying, "We're going to preserve as much as possible and take input from the town."
Mayor Ben Blake likewise noted, "I’ve met with the owners of Colony Grill and they are committed to preserving the local charm of the property."
"We've done everything that we could," Martin said today. "We've saved a lot of stuff from the interior. The mural wasn't salvageable. It's just the front part that had to come down. The back part is being refurbished."
"I think their intentions were to preserve as much as they could. And they are going to recreate what they couldn't preserve," Milford Economic & Community Development Director Bob Gregory said.
Martin sent Milford Patch a rendering of what the new structure will look like, which is attached.
"Architect John Wicko of Milford tried to incorporate the design of the original Harrison and Gould building into the look of the new store front," Martin wrote. "He researched numerous old photos and came up with what think is a great link from our business to the past."
The New Mural
Ken Martin noted that Colony Grill is working with the Milford Fine Arts Council and the Murals of Milford about constructing a new mural inside of Colony Grill, noting that Murals of Milford is "putting out a call to local artists."