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Lazarus building: Going, going, gone…

MIDDLEBURY — Demolition of the Lazarus building at 20 Main St. in downtown Middlebury was substantially completed in a single day — Monday, Jan. 19 — and minor site cleanup activities continued on Tuesday and Wednesday, including the installation of temporary perimeter security fencing.
Printer’s Alley was closed to traffic on Monday, but re-opened, as planned, on Tuesday.
Middlebury College purchased the Lazarus building last year and gave it to the town to remove. Elimination of the structure will allow for widening of the adjacent Printer’s Alley, which will provide better access to the Marble Works complex and eliminate what has been a dicey 50-yard section for pedestrians to navigate with vehicular traffic.
The foundation of the old building will remain in place, as it supports Printer’s Alley, the Main Street sidewalk and the railroad overpass bridge. Plans are in the works to use the foundation as a pop-up pocket park until the railroad bridge replacement project begins.
Town officials are collaborating with students at the University of Vermont in a design-build exercise to create this pop-up park concept. The intent of the project is to facilitate an interim use for the space as a public open-space setting. UVM students will use raw materials to create seating and planting space, and interpretive materials to explain the rail project and its history. Once the railroad project commences (currently set for 2016), the pop-up park will transition to a staging area for construction activities.

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