KINDERHOOK, N.Y. - Downtown Kinderhook will never look the same after a fire over the weekend destroyed two buildings that date back to the 19th century.
While the buildings were vacant, some longtime residents say the fire destroyed a lot of memories.
As onlookers stopped by to catch one last glimpse of the iconic Kinderhook building that was torn down in mere minutes, Katie Pesano recalled her own memories tied to the historic building.
"When I was small I remember going to the soda fountain on days when we were good, my father would take us," she said. "I would spin on the stool."
Pesano's seen the building go through many transformations in the last few decades. "How it had passed over from people from being a super market, to a butcher shop," she recalled.
As it was torn down, she says she felt a part of her memories torn apart. The building couldn't withstand the flames from Sunday night's fire. "We had the fire going up through second floor," said fire chief Pete Hunter, from the Kinderhook Fire Department.
Destroyed and collapsing on itself from the damage, crews had to resort to demolishing the building. With bricks and wood went a lot of history as well. "It is a highly decorated mid 19th century look, very unique and with be a great loss," said David Smith of the Columbia County historical society.
"Think of how old and how long it has been there, and it takes a split second to be gone," said Pesano.
It won't be the same for Pesano who passes by the building everyday when she goes home. She's hoping when it's rebuilt some of it's history and design is restored.
One of the building was set to open as a restaurant in two weeks. We spoke with the owners who says he is not too hopeful about rebuilding there. The fire chief says that building could come down once inspectors evaluate it. They will be back out at the scene tomorrow the inspect the building. A cause for the fire is still under investigation.
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