Perhaps ironically, demolition work on portions of Front Royal’s Afton Inn began on September 11 – a date now entrenched historically as one of terrorist demolition of two of the most famous structures in America – New York City’s World Trade Center towers one and two, and the Northern Virginia seat of the American military, the Pentagon.
And while the Afton Inn may be one of Front Royal’s most famous structures, built as it was in 1867-68 during Civil War reconstruction, today’s demolition was much less dramatic and certainly not terrorist induced – though had not a reversal of the initial plan to totally demo-rebuild not been made by developer 2 East Main Street LLC, some locals particularly attached to the historical implications of the 150-year-old deteriorating brick shell may have seen it that way – it does seem somewhat of a historical moment.
That is because the hope of redevelopment of the long-boarded up structure once a centerpiece of downtown Front Royal culture, at least perhaps through the 1930’s or ‘40’s, has been a part of the public consciousness of the community for nearly this entire century.
We won’t retrace details of the coming of MODE LLC, then 2 East Main LLC here.
Developer, EDA answer questions on Afton Inn demo-rebuild proposal, but rather just recount the moment, asbestos abatement of the 1950’s added annex structure completed, at which actual, visible movement toward that redevelopment began on September 11, 2018.