Long-abandoned building in McGraw demolished over flood damage concerns

McGraw Village leaders demolished this long-abandoned building, known to locals as "The Leaning Tower," over fears it collapse onto the restaurant next door.

It's been almost six weeks since floodwaters roared through pockets of Central New York. This week, a landmark that's emerged as one of the symbols of the devastation in Cortland County, is coming down.

In late June, the water rose from the banks of the Mosquito Creek flooding Main Street in McGraw and rushing into the basement of an abandoned three-story building, rupturing gas lines.

Debris still lined the basement windows, when we visited on July 11.

Village leaders deemed the building, known to locals as "The Leaning Tower," a major safety hazard.

Though it had sat empty for some 20 years, officials said it was no longer safe to keep it standing.

The Village worried it would collapse onto the Chinese Restaurant next door.

Demolition crews started to tear the building down on Tuesday, and returned to the scene Wednesday.

"It had become an eyesore for the village of McGraw so the best thing to do was to take it down, so that is what they did," says Leo Bush, who lives in McGraw.

The Village is shelling out $125,000 to tear down the abandoned eyesore.

It hopes to be reimbursed by FEMA funding.