'Old Hickory' in Coudersport falls victim to time
At this month's meeting, Borough Council members discussed their options in the event that the property has been found to represent a public nuisance or danger.
No action is imminent. Council directed Borough Manager Marlin Moore and Borough Solicitor Dan Glassmire to confer with building experts for a determination of the property's condition.
Mayor Wick Furman said he has been unable to contact the owner, Tom Polliard, who assured the mayor last fall that he would be working on the building this year. Furman also quoted Polliard as forecasting that it would take him as long as a decade to restore the building.
Glassmire advised Council that the borough should obtain a "fair, impartial assessment" to determine if the building is a danger, rather than merely an eyesore.
More than two decades have passed since the Old Hickory was in operation. A tavern in the basement had remained open for several years after the restaurant and hotel were no longer in business.
For several years, the Rigases intended to renovate the Old Hickory with a goal of operating it as a bed and breakfast, primarily for guests of Adelphia Communications Corp.
Any chance of that was dashed when Adelphia plunged into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2002.
The building had fallen into a state of disrepair by the time Polliard bought it. He did some initial repair work, but in recent years the weather, pigeons and other natural elements have taken a heavy toll.