Roof collapses on Lyndonville’s Pennysaver building

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 22 February 2021 at 5:54 pm

Main Street site will be torn down due to danger to public

Photos by Tom Rivers: The roof on the Pennysaver building at the corner of Main and Eagle streets in Lyndonville collapsed at about 7:45 this morning.

LYNDONVILLE – The Pennysaver building, a dominant structure on Main Street for more than a century, could be gone in the next 24 to 48 hours after the roof collapsed on the building this morning.

The Village Board met this afternoon and declared the building an emergency and a threat to the community.

“It’s a bad situation in a bad spot,” said Mayor John Belson.

The village has contacted the building owner. Robert Smith, a Lyndonville native who now lives in California, owns the building and three others on Main Street. He is working with his insurance company to determine if insurance will cover any of the knockdown and removal of the Pennysaver building.

The area near the building is blocked off to pedestrians and traffic.

Belson said the takedown is the responsibility of the owner and the mayor doesn’t want to wait long to have the building at least knocked in so it’s not in danger of toppling into the street. The village has cordoned off the area in front of the building and part of Eagle Street near Main Street.

The heavy snow and ice is the assumed cause of the roof collapse, but the site also had structural issues. Smith had grand plans for building with hotel rooms and retail space. He has been working to transform the block of four structures.

The building was last used by the Pennysaver Market. It closed in April 2013 after 35 years in business by Sharon Gray. She initially offered grocery items and then expanded to hardware, videos, a deli, finger foods and pizza.

Provided photo: This photo from the inside shows the collapsed roof on the second floor. The roof didn’t fall all the way to the first floor.

Lyndonville had its engineering firm, the MRB Group, come out this afternoon to inspect the building. The firm said it was an unsafe structure. Belson wants quick action by Smith and the insurance company.

The mayor said the building won’t be up for very long.

“In the next 24 to 48 hours that property will be in the ground,” he said.

Here is how the building looked in May 2018.