Demolition of downtown Cordova finally complete
by Jennifer Cohron
May 31, 2013 | 2171 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The floor of the Tallulah hotel survived the demolition thanks to the efforts of Cullman contractor Tim Peek, who was charged with tearing down the hotel and the other 23 structures involved in demo. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
The floor of the Tallulah hotel survived the demolition thanks to the efforts of Cullman contractor Tim Peek, who was charged with tearing down the hotel and the other 23 structures involved in demo. Daily Mountain Eagle - Jennifer Cohron
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CORDOVA — The demolition of downtown wrapped up on Wednesday, and Main Street was opened to the public for the first time in two years.

Civicon, LLC finished the job in 28 days, more than a month ahead of schedule.

A total of 3,901 tons of debris was removed from the site in 510 truckloads, according to long term recovery manager Steve Ostaseski.

Contractors tore down 24 structures, most of which were located along Main Street. Two buildings on Commerce Street, a two-story house on Green Avenue, the old Piggly Wiggly property and two bank vaults were also included in the project.

A TV repair shop, bank, diner and vacant gas station are the only buildings still standing downtown.

Fencing blocking off both ends of Main Street was removed by city employees on Wednesday morning while Civicon crews completed their final clean-up of the area.

While most of the lots are now nothing but dirt, the foundations of several are still visible.

“The FEMA grant would only pay for those foundations being removed if they became damaged in the process of taking down the buildings,” Ostaseski told the Cordova City Council on Tuesday night.

One of the only reminders left of historic downtown Cordova is the Tallulah Hotel’s floor.

Contractor Tim Peek, who was given the delicate task of tearing down the hotel, took it upon himself to take steps to preserve the tile after learning of its importance to the community.

As the brick walls came tumbling down on April 23, a layer of plywood protected the individually laid hexagon tiles beneath.

The floor was uncovered the following week during the debris removal process.

“It’s as special as anything I’ve come across in my line of work. Everybody recognizes that in this town,” Peek said.

The Tallulah was built at the turn of the century by H. Whitt Long, according to a retrospective published in the Daily Mountain Eagle in 1989. Its namesake was reported to be Long’s wife and not the famous actress Tallulah Bankhead as some still believe.

The property is still privately-owned. The owner has expressed a desire to city officials to incorporate the floor in a future rebuilding effort.