Demolition of the former Avon Theater has begun

Crews have started demolishing the former Avon Theater in Downtown South Bend to make way for the St. Joseph County Public Library's expansion project.

Officials say the removal of the old theater and two nearby buildings is expected to take about a month.

The City's Historic Preservation Commission had tried to block the demolition, arguing that many of South Bend's older buildings have been torn down and that the theater could be rehabilitated. The City Council voted in October against a proposal that would have designated the boarded-up theater as a landmark.

Library officials plan to use the cleared space as a parking lot until the proposed new library is built.

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