The Dixie Hotel being demolished in June 1978. (T-G file photo)
A crowd gathered in front of Pope's Cafe in early June 1978 as the wrecking ball tore apart the old Dixie Hotel. The landmark, which had stood on the north side of the Shelbyville square since the early 1900s, was being demolished for the new Peoples National Bank (not today's Peoples Bank).
By the late 1970s the Dixie had deteriorated badly. I remember being inside it and noticing that it appeared to be shabby and smelled. There was also a wooden addition to the back that, for several years before the demolition, looked as if it was ready to fall to pieces.
I also found quite a few negatives of the old Peoples Bank in its last few months on Depot Street. I'll post some interior views soon.
I see the old hotel building as it was and think of the old Bedford County Hospital and Central High School buildings, steadily deteriorating.
Actually the CHS building was deteriorating when I attended in the mid-1970s -- and it still had 30 more years to go as a middle school -- but that's another story. I thought it was such a old building then when it was only about 35 to 38 years old; I don't think of a 35-year-old building as "old" today. Maybe it was because building styles, outside and inside, had changed so much .
The original buildings of today's Central High is 35 years old now; I wonder if today's students think of it as "old"?
Picturing the Past is featured regularly in this blog. Reader contributions are welcome.