County Destroys Eyesore Property

It's been the source of a lot of complaints, controversy and court battles. But Thursday morning the old vacant "Boat Yard Lounge" building in the Henderson Point Community was demolished.

As Harrison County work crews leveled the building, residents waved bye bye to a community eyesore. It was a moment many Henderson Point residents say they've waited more than five years for, and a little rain wasn't about to stand in the way of them watching the old building on Highway 90 come down.

Annette Rolfes, is a member of the Point and Isles Garden Club.

"It's certainly going to improve the look of our community," she said. "We work hard to maintain the property in this area, and this has been such an eyesore for a long time."

It didn't take long for heavy equipment to chew through the three-story building.

"This is one of the worst-blighted buildings on the Coast, and it's been a two-year struggle, but finally we are able to take it down," Harrison County District 3 Supervisor Marlin Ladner said.

The county went through the struggle Ladner referred to because the wooden structure was more than just run down. It had become a safety hazard to the community.

District 1 Supervisor Bobby Eleuterius agreed.

"Even when our own people in the code office came out to inspect it, we had an individual that fell through the floor.The building is about to fall down."

The building was once a proud landmark in the community when the building was the Boat Yard Lounge. It got its name from the time when boats were repaired there. But those days are long gone, and residents say they're glad the building is going too.

"It really is a hazard to the community, and it's also an eyesore to have a neglected building in such a beautiful area," said Sylvia Gaffney, president of the Point & Isles Garden Club.

The demolition will cost Harrison County about $10,000. A lien will be placed on the property to recoup that cost.

By Al Showers

Online Producer Glenn Cummins