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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Loss in the name of Progress

It's always sad when historic buildings are torn down. It's even sadder when the building was so far beyond repair due to neglect of an owner that there was no other choice. And so ends the era of the Castile Sanitarium. 
The very front has been removed - it was originally a (wooden) tavern
 The Sanitarium, or "Water Cure," was founded by Jabez Greene in 1849 as a hydropathic institution. His daughter, Dr. Cordelia Greene, took over after his death. Cordelia was one of the early women doctors, an active member of Women's Suffrage and the founder of our local library. On Cordelia's death, her niece Dr. Mary Greene took over. In all, the Greene family ran the facility for 108 years.

Demolition started in the center section.
The front building (left) was originally 2 stories but a third was later added.
You can see the various bricks and sections to the building.
Within my own lifetime, I can remember senior apartments and a restaurant in this great old building where the ladies were cured by sitting on the front porch and eating onions in the freezing cold. (Ok, there was more to the "cure" but that's all I remember). It's second to last owner lived there with her animals. Use your imagination: the place was a mess and not safe to be in.

It was originally hoped that the gymnasium could be saved and a kitchen added for dinner functions.
It is now slated for demolition as well.

Most recently the Castile Community Club bought the 5 acre parcel with plans to remove the remaining buildings and build a new community center. The graceful old pool has already been backfilled, old architectural elements were salvaged, the asbestos was removed and the demolition finally began this week. Rumor has it that the site will be cleared in only 2 weeks and some kind of new building will be constructed by summer's end.

Cordelia's legacy lives on in the Cordelia A Greene Library, despite the demolition across Main Street.

Goodbye dear lady - you are gone but not forgotten...


Erin the Librarian said...

That last pic is AMAZING!

Tammie said...

Thank you for posting these pics!
So sad it couldn't be saved...