Orangeburg, SC (WLTX) - Downtown Orangeburg will soon be getting a new look, but not for reasons they would've liked. The roof of a historic building on Russell Street collapsed Tuesday morning, and the nearly 100-year-old building will now have to be demolished.
"We are all about revitalizing downtown," explains Bernice Tribble, with the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association, "Making it economically viable again, restoring our old buildings."
One of the buildings that was up next on that list was the Sifly Furniture building, before the roof collapsed. "The building is almost 100 years old. So some of the structure holding up the roof collapsed, brought the roof down, and that brought part of the wall down," says Tribble.
A few years back, a mural was painted on the side of Sifly, reflecting the once bustling main street in town. "Looked into the history of Orangeburg to make it a very interesting mural and it has been really a focal point for downtown Orangeburg," Tribble explains of the Memorial Square-facing mural.
"Downtown Orangeburg, Russell Street, was the place to be," says Derick Simon. He works at the Right Touch Barber Shop, just down the street from the Sifly building. "Keeping the street historic is very important," he says.
The collapse has also left a hole in the business district. The building was on the verge of renovation, with Cox Industries planning to move their headquarters in. "Which would create a lot of activity downtown, during the day while our stores are open," explains Tribble.
Activity downtown is, of course, the reason for the renovation push. Says Tribble, "We want people to become accustomed to coming back downtown and shopping."
And most hope this won't erode their progress. Says Simon, "I hope whatever they have to do to it, that they can save as much as possible or replace it with something that's just as attractive."
No word yet on how long the demolition process will take.