Old newspaper building meets its last deadline ANNAPOLIS/SOUTH COUNTY--Davidsonville * Edgewater * Shady Side * Deale

March 25, 1993|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

The building on West Street that housed the Annapolis Evening Capital for nearly 40 years finally fell victim to bulldozers and progress yesterday, six years after the newspaper moved to new offices.

Crews began demolishing the building, where many journalists got their start, early in the morning. By afternoon, it was rubble.

"It was deteriorating pretty badly," explained Edward D. Casey, executive editor of the Capital. "It just was in very bad shape."

The building housed a bowling alley before the newspaper moved there in 1948. It became vacant when the Capital moved to offices in an industrial park off Gibralter Avenue in 1987 and has since turned into an eyesore to nearby residents and a home to vagrants and rodents.

There are no plans for the vacant lot.

Mr. Casey said he and six other longtime staff members went to the old building during their lunch break yesterday to take pictures and rehash memories.

"Our new building is so nice I don't really miss it," Mr. Casey said. "But it is nostalgic.

"The building wasn't very usable. The hallways were twice as large as they needed to be. But it wasn't the worst place I ever worked in."

Nancy Jane Adams, county school spokeswoman, and a former Capital reporter, said she doubted she would drive by to take a look at the razed building. "Some things are hard to take," she said.

Ms. Adams said her six years at the paper, from 1979 to 1985, were a lot of fun. But she said the one thing she remembers most about the building is that it was "very old."

"It wasn't unusual to have a roach walk across your desk during deadline," Ms. Adams said. "And, I remember that they used to have a dumbwaiter in the newsroom that editors used to send copy down to paste up.

"It was the most interesting physical plant I ever worked in. But it was home," she said.

When Annapolis Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins heard that the building, where he worked for 20 years covering and editing sports, was coming down he had to go for a last look.

"I was the only one there [yesterday morning]," Mr. Hopkins said. "I have a lot of memories of that building. I remember one time in high school I spent three hours [in the bowling alley] playing pinball on one nickel. You didn't win any money, just more games," he said.

Mr. Hopkins said he knew the building would come down eventually, but was surprised when he heard that a demolition crew was on site.

Working for the Capital "was a tough job," he said.

"But I don't have any bad memories of the place," he added. "It was a good life. It was a very good life."

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