Now you see it, now you don’t

"This building was built like a bomb shelter.” -- Craig Van Patten, commenting on the difficulty in demolishing the former Laramee Cleaners building on Bridge Street

Great Barrington – A crew from Brandy Brook Environmental & Construction out of Delanson, New York, demolished the former Laramee Cleaners on Bridge Street today (March 13) to make way for the construction of the Powerhouse Square complex that will harbor the Berkshire Coop Market, retail spaces and condominiums.

The Laramee Cleaners building prior to its demolition. Photo: David Scribner

“This is the hardest demolition we’ve ever done,” observed Brandy Brook owner Craig Van Patten. “This building was built like a bomb shelter, with lots of rebar reinforcing the concrete.”

Still, within a few hours Van Patten, operating an excavator, had reduced the one-story building to rubble, and was stirring the debris with his machine’s bucket to separate the metal from the concrete and bricks.

The $15 million Powerhouse Square development features a 14,500-square-foot location for the Berkshire Coop Market, expected to be completed by the fall, as well as office spaces and 22 condominiums.

A rendering of the Powerhouse Square complex that will house the Berkshire Coop.