Part of Corner Bar preserved as demolition starts

Large fire destroyed much of historic bar in Rockford in August

Rockford, Corner Bar
Rockford's Corner Bar was destroyed by a fire in August. (Nov. 6, 2017)

ROCKFORD, Mich. (WOOD) — Work beginning this week marks an end of sorts for a historic bar and restaurant in downtown Rockford, but also a new beginning.

An hourslong blaze fueled by an open gas line devastated the Corner Bar in August. After weeks of investigations, the demolition process began Monday.

Great lengths are being taken to save parts of the building, which was constructed in the 1870s.

“I believe it was the owners’ intent from the beginning to save as much of the building (as possible). As you can see from the shoring, we’re looking at saving that corner and keeping it within the building as we move forward,” Brad Walsh, a project manager for Orion Construction, showed 24 Hour News 8 Monday, motioning to the orange supports holding up part of the storefront.

Walsh said the demolition stage will take about two weeks, after which crews will move on to rebuilding.

“Everything that is shored right now is remaining in the new build,” Walsh explained. “The extent of the damage on the other parts of the building was severe, so all that will be coming out. We’re going to be starting fresh.”

The Corner Bar owners are hoping to hold a groundbreaking ceremony the first week of December to mark the beginning of the new construction.

>>App users: Photos of the Corner Bar fire