By Denise Dick
It went by a number of names over the past 50 years — The Rayen, the Bavarian House, Tony’s Hideaway, the New Music Station, Pogo’s Pub and Ernie McDougal’s — but now it’s a pile of bricks and rubble.
Youngstown State University bought the building at 158 W. Rayen Ave., built in 1916, in 2010, and demolition began about a week ago.
Jim Matash of M&M Demolitions of Vienna said it’s a slow process because of the building’s age and deterioration.
“We’re just taking our time with it,” he said.
The three-story, 25,000- square-foot building had a hole in the roof with a tree growing out of it, and Matash found a toilet stuck on a pole on the roof as well.
It’s roughly a $208,000 project.
“There was a fire in there at one point, too,” he said.
The building had been vacant and in disrepair for a number of years when YSU bought it. The university had roped it off as bricks had fallen off the building onto the street.
Matash said it will take a few more weeks to complete the project. Once the structure has been razed, the debris must be removed and the basement filled in.
The university had pursued an application for Clean Ohio funding to help with building demolition, but that fell through, said Richard White, YSU’s associate director of planning and construction. After that, YSU proceeded to raze it. Because of asbestos, the hazardous material must be transported to a landfill after demolition.
There aren’t immediate plans for the property, White said. Initially, it likely will be green space, but it may be used for a parking lot in the future.
At the same time the university bought The Rayen, it also purchased the former Mighty Moe’s building around the corner on Elm Street, paying $70,000 for The Rayen and $530,000 for Mighty Moe’s.
About a year ago, YSU trustees approved leasing that building for a Hot Head Burritos location. That restaurant opened last fall. The lease is for 10 years.