ASHLAND - Two century-old buildings on Ashland's Main Street are coming down this week.
Best known as the former Weiss Family Pharmacy, the downtown buildings at 76 and 80 East Main Street, are now owned by Matt Wurster through his limited liability company, Main Street Holdings of Ashland.
The year “1905” is carved in stone on the cornice of the two-story brick building at 80 E. Main Street, and the three-story brick building at 76 E. Main St. dates back to 1920, according to form Ashland Main Street submitted to the National Park Service when downtown was named a historic district.
Wurster's company acquired the buildings in May, paying $90,000 for the two former Weiss buildings and the adjacent former Napa Auto Parts building at 88 E. Main St. The Napa building will remain standing.
Prior to the May 9 sale, the buildings 76 and 80 E. Main St. were owned by Curt Connor, who purchased both for $8,911 in 2014 and later operated a flea market in the space.
The buildings have deteriorated greatly and over the years and recently suffered damage from a collapse, making them unsafe for use.
Both buildings have sat largely vacant since Weiss Family Pharmacy closed in 2003. Though the owners of Towne Pharmacy, which acquired the Weiss drugstore, bought the buildings with the intent to move into the space, Towne Pharmacy ended up moving to its Smith Road location instead.
Demolition of the two Weiss buildings originally was planned for last week, but contractors ran into some electrical issues that delayed the project, according to Mayor Matt Miller.
Miller said after consulting with the city engineer, street department director and police chief, he determined the road did not need to be closed during demolition.
"I'm sure if that's needed, we'll respond immediately," he said.
After the demolition is complete, Miller said, the land will be seeded.
Wurster hopes to put some sort of restaurant in the Napa Auto Parts building and to develop the sites of the other two buildings into something that will benefit the entire community and downtown, Miller told Ashland University radio station WRDL last week. The plans have not yet been finalized.