Demolition underway at former shirt factory

Local News

The former Van Heusen shirt factory in Northern Cambria has been reduced to rubble.

“Every time we’re in the northern part of the county people bring up the shirt factory,” Tom Chernisky, Cambria County Commissioner, said. “It’s a blighted property. It’s falling down. It’s a safety issue.”

Demolition started on Tuesday because the factory had been vacant for nearly 15 years and was starting to fall apart.

“They were talking about how this property has been tagged, vandals were going in there, it was stripped of all the metals and everything in there,” Renee Daly, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of Cambria County, told us.

The structure was built in the 1930s. It was once a booming business that employed hundreds of people, but its deep roots in the community weren’t enough to keep it standing.

“It was heartbreaking for a lot of people because that’s where they worked for so many years,” Daly explained. “To see a demolition like that occur, it’s very hard to see. Sometimes the properties can’t be saved after so much damage has been done.”

Cambria County leaders have made it their mission to clean up communities. They know getting rid of blighted properties is no easy task.

They worked to find funding and put in place Act 152. It helps make tearing down heavily destroyed properties in the county possible.

“We’re going in the right direction,” Commissioner Chernisky said. “We’re taking down blight. People talk about things, but that’s all they do is keep talking. We’re actually putting the talk into action, we’re putting the talk into reality.”

It’s now up to Northern Cambria Borough officials to decide what’s next for the former Van Heusen shirt factory property. Right now no one knows exactly what it might lead to.

We’re told it’s going to take about two weeks to fully demolish the building.

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