So much has been lost recently, let’s not lose the Lakeview Building

Published 9:50 pm Wednesday, July 11, 2018

We’ve lost so many historic buildings in recent years – the mills, Bethlehem Baptist Church, River View Gym, to name some of them – it would be good to see one of the area’s landmark buildings be spared from total demolition.

The Lakeview Building in downtown West Point goes back to the late 1890s and is defined by its curved wall on the building’s back side. Sadly, it’s been in a state of decline for some time. The roof over the middle portion of the building collapsed some time ago and was definitely in need of being cleared away. The wood and metal portion of the building on the left side was not in good condition. That’s what’s coming down now.

What’s been done thus far is completely understandable and something that needed to be done.

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Here’s hoping, though, that the brick portions of the building are salvageable and can be restored into something new, something that can have a place in the town’s resurgent downtown district.

Lakeview’s such a neat-looking building and has been here since the days Teddy Roosevelt was with the Rough Riders. Many of us who grew up in the Valley can remember the Christmas parades in downtown West Point and how crowded the stairs would be outside Lakeview’s right side entrance. People got there early to get a good view from that height.

Should the entire site be brought down, it will leave an ugly hole near West Point’s gateway entrance. Of course, that’s a decision that’s totally up to the property owner. It’s their business decision.

Perhaps there can be a happy medium where a bit of local history can be preserved and a property owner rewarded for transforming a declining building into a desirable piece of property that can make a return on an investment. Win-win situations sometimes happen.