The 100-year-old Lovells building in Elmira has been torn down after sitting vacant for the past 18 years. YNN's Katie Husband tells us why the next door neighbors had been praying for the demolition for some time.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- It was a long awaited sight for neighbors on Lake Street as the roof came down on the building that once housed Lovells Ice Cream Parlor.
"It has fallen into decay. There is a church directly next door and it has about, that much room, from the outside of the church to the outside of Lovells," said Sue Skidmore, Elmira's Mayor.
Pastor Bobby Smith has owned Shabach Tabernacle since 2006 and never understood why the buildings were so close.
"We have windows inside the church that are boarded up because the sun couldn't shine in. The building has been there, it didn't make any sense," said Bobby Smith, Pastor of Shabach Tabernacle.
On top of the confusion of where Lovells was built, both the City and Smith noticed the n negative attention it was getting.
"It was just a disgrace to the neighborhood, totally blighted, roof caving in, all kinds of bad things going on in there," said Skidmore.
"It's been a hinderance to our renovations to the church, people have been sleeping up in there, doing drugs in there," said Smith.
Now with building gone, the wish of the church community can be fulfilled.
"We've been renovating now, going on four years. Our desire has been to renovate inside and out," said Smith.
Smith said about 95 percent of the work inside the church has been completed, now that Lovells is gone the siding and new windows will be installed.