Updates on the demolition of the Hopewell Inn building – covering from the start of work on July 26 through August 2, 2022.
See below for Building History, Demolition Videos, Demolition Timeline in Photos, Construction Details, and Memorabilia.
Summary – Each Day
Hopewell Inn / Central Hotel History
The Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn building – at 15 East Broad Street on the corner of Seminary Avenue – has been demolished, beginning on July 26, 2022.
It will be rebuilt as an upscale restaurant and apartments, with a historically familiar design based on the heyday of the building around the 1930s (see MercerMe article).
The building, long known as the Central Hotel, has a nearly 150 year history as a residential home and store, bar and restaurant, and lodging and apartments.
It goes back to Sarah and Susan Ann Sexton, who acquired the property in 1875 and then operated a drugstore there.
== See post summarizing the history of The Hopewell Inn / Central Hotel ==
== See the full Hopewell Inn history brief (PDF) for much more detail on the history and people of the building, renovations to the building, and references ==
== View the Inn’s location and historical images on the Hopewell History Map ==
== Explore the full set of Hopewell Inn historical images (History Map) ==
Demolition Timeline in Photos – Day by Day
The demolition of the Hopewell Inn building began on Tuesday, July 26, 2022.
Parking spots on West Broad and Seminary Avenue were blocked off. The work was estimated to take over a week. Water spray was used to keep down the dust.
Day 1 – Tues., 7/26/22 – Rear
The excavator, dumpster, and trucks arrived late morning. The work started in the back right corner of the building (southwest, next to the Hopewell Public Library), removing that corner of the two-story addition behind the three-story main building with mansard roof that faces the street. This included the back of the octagonal addition on the right of the building (from the street).
Day 2 – Wed., 7/27/22 – Only Street Sides
Almost the entire building was down buy the end of the day, except for the ground floor walls of the two sides along West Broad and Seminary. The excavator undercut the building step by step from the rear, and the building caved in.
Day 3 – Thurs., 7/28/22 – Building Gone
The Hopewell Inn building was no more. The last two pieces of the walls were removed – the first floor along East Broad from the octagon addition by the Library and along the porch to the corner of Seminary, and then towards the back along Seminary to the side entrance steps.
Day 4 – Fri., 7/29/22 – Just Rubble
The Hopewell Inn property was reduced to rubble, with the foundations beginning to be exposed. The side entrance steps and wagon wheel handrail still remain, along with the adjoining cellar door.
Day 5 – Sat., 7/30/22 – Foundations
The rubble was removed from the Hopewell Inn property, leaving the foundations exposed. These were a mix of newer concrete block for the front porch and side entrance, and the older stone walls under the original building.
Day 6 – Mon., 8/1/22 – Old Pit
The old foundations were removed, leaving the empty pit in the area of the old building.
Day 7 – Tues., 8/2/22 – New Pit
The pit was expanded for the foundations under the new building.
Hopewell Inn Memorabilia
Before the demolition, we were able to preserve some artifacts of the building’s use as the Hopewell Valley Bistro & Inn. These include examples of the building exterior and interior, signage and menus, decorative items, and dishware and glassware.
== See post on and pictures of Hopewell Inn Memorabilia ==
== See the Image Gallery for the full set of Hopewell Inn memorabilia images ==
Thanks to Barbara Reeder and Dave Silvester for sharing additional imagery and videos of the demolition.
Please contact us if you have more interesting photos / videos of the demolition to share