Bartonville, Illinois (Trueillinoishaunts.com) – “No,” says owner Richard Weiss. Unless he is forced to take drastic action due to the building’s deteriorating condition, that is.
Late last week, both the Peoria Journal Star and the State Journal-Register reported that demolition and sale of the building was being discussed in order to pay back $340,000 the village of Bartonville loaned Weiss last April for asbestos removal. “Richard Weiss told Bartonville officials that the only way he can pay back the money the village loaned him to help get the business started is to tear the Bowen Building down and sell it off, limestone block by limestone block,” the Peoria Journal Star reported.
In a Facebook response to the article, Weiss argued that the newspaper had gotten its facts wrong. “As usual the PJStar never gets all the facts right when they do a story on us nothing is set in stone but this is an option,” he said. “We have tried EVERYTHING we can to save this building we have been trying for 5 years. The building is taking major damage we are not able to stop.”
He continued, “What little bit of money that has been coming in has been going to pay back the village for the loan so we are not able to do the work needed as well as its taken so much damage over the years that its going to take $3mill at least in the next 3-5 months or its not going to be standing by the end of the year just from damage alone also if we dont pay back the village for the loan they will take the building and it will be torn down by them. We have done all we can do we will be keeping up the fight for a few more months but it might just come down to it coming down. We will continue to do tours until it is no longer safe to run them.”
On January 30, Peoria State Hospital was featured on SyFy Channel’s Ghost Hunters, and it was hoped that appearing on the show would attract more interest, and possibly investors. Evidently, the anticipated response failed to materialize. We will continue to follow this story and keep you updated.