Century-old window destroyed in crash Motorist shatters Sykesville storefront SOUTHEAST -- Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

March 30, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

Sykesville's Main Street lost a part of its history Saturday when an errant motorist destroyed the front window of one of the town's oldest buildings.

"The window probably dates to 1878," said Wiley Purkey, co-owner of Craftsman Art Co., an art and framing company that opened in the building at 7602 Main St. about four years ago.

"The biggest grief is that it was one of the very few original sites in town still preserved."

Although the old window, valued for all its imperfections, was shattered, merchandise decorating the storefront was spared, said Mr. Purkey. The car stopped inches from several pictures displayed on easels.

"This could have been a lot worse," he said. "The driver missed all the pictures and mirrors on display."

About 4 a.m. Saturday, Mr. Purkey got a call from state police, who told him of the accident and asked him to secure his shop. He arrived to find a 1975 Buick nosing about six inches into the storefront.

Police said Robert L. Newcomb, 38, failed to make the turn onto Main Street from Sandosky Road about 3:30 a.m. The car knocked out the glass and broke paneling, frame and trim, said Mr. Purkey, who did not have an immediate estimate of the damage.

Mr. Newcomb, a Harford County resident, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, driving an uninsured motor vehicle, driving an unregistered vehicle and resisting arrest. Police said they also found a small film canister containing suspected PCP.

The driver was held in the Carroll County Detention Center until posting $1,000 bail later in the day.

The shop, with its window boarded, opened for business as usual Saturday, said Mr. Purkey, who co-owns the store with Mark Rychwalski.

"Mark called the building owners in Oregon Saturday," said Mr. Purkey. "They were sympathetic, but there was little they could do. They had just experienced an earthquake out there."

Several customers barely noticed the damage, he said.

"The facade is not destroyed, and the door is openable," said Mr. Purkey.

Within a few weeks, Mr. Purkey hopes to replace the 24-by-30-foot window with another piece of old glass, maybe one with similar imperfections.

"I have salvaged a lot of old glass and probably have a piece the same size," he said.

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