A hotel built in 1799 is gone, and a Rite Aid will take its place on the most prominent corner of Morgantown, Pa., located an hour northwest of Philadelphia.
The Morgantown Hotel was demolished last month, and four other historic buildings dating from 1750 to 1813, all listed as contributing to the Morgantown historic district, will follow. The National Trust for Historic Preservation and other groups asked Rite Aid to reuse the two-story hotel and four others targeted for demolition or to find another location for the drug store.
"I think it's a shame that it's the heart of the town, and now half of it will be a parking lot and the other half will be a new building," says Daniel Barringer, who lives nearby. "There's not much of a town left in Morgantown."
Last year, Preservation Pennsylvania named the hotel and four other historic buildings nearby to its annual Pennsylvania at Risk list.
The Morgantown Hotel had been empty for several years before Rite Aid bought the block. Some locals, who complained about the food and service, were glad to see it go.