The final sweeping out of this house occurred about 15 years ago. It has sat empty ever since, for sale and sale pending several times. There is a feeling of the building holding its breath as it awaits what is to come. Waiting to see in anyone will inhabit these rooms even as commercial space of some sort. The whole 40+ acres is due to become part of an artisan village, so maybe the building will be reused. The bones are good, the 1960’s and 70’s updates not so much. Time will tell whether or not it is reused or leveled. I always cringe a bit the occasional times I drive past it, half afraid I will see rubble.
While it is nice to see a neighborhood spruced up, gentrification often goes too far. Erasing the character and adding a faux finish of personality that can feel more like a vacation theme park than a place people live. This building is located in an area that has long been looked at for an extension of a rail line. It is a variety of well kept houses, empty manufacturing building of various eras and some more rundown places. How long before this place goes from being Girouard’s Market, a corner shop, to Les Bon Temps Cafe or Boutique? Or some such gentrified thing. Girouard’s is already closed and for sale, a market on the market. It might be empty awhile as rail plans take a long time to get implemented. A rail stop would be a boon for the city, and for commuters heading over the state line. It would boost property values for those looking to sell, would possibly take some commuter cars off the road. It would also likely whitewash the neighborhood in “acceptable niceness” for the eyes. And would likely force rents higher as the “prettification” took hold, displacing residents.
I guess it is, then, both a good and bad thing.