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Wayne Post
  • Mark’s rebuilding begins

  • Less than a week after demolition began, the three buildings destroyed by fire in Palmyra were a thing of the past and now two weeks later, rebuilding has begun.

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  • Less than a week after demolition began, the three buildings destroyed by fire in Palmyra were a thing of the past and now two weeks later, rebuilding has begun.
    Demolition crews from Frederico Construction and Demolition out of Rochester made quick work of bringing the canal-era structures to their knees. Begun on July 17, by last Thursday, July 25, the historic buildings were nothing more than a pile of debris.
    The buildings were destroyed by a fire on May 3 when Christina L. Nicklaw, 29, formerly of 236 E. Main St., allegedly tried to kill herself by setting fire to a pile of sheets and blankets in her apartment with her 4-year-old daughter still inside. Nicklaw was arrested on charges that include felony arson after a grand jury handed down an indictment. The case is still pending in Wayne County Court at this time, although Nicklaw has since been released, by court order, from the Wayne County Jail.
    Unlike the first day of demolition, Main Street was quiet, devoid of the crowds who came to watch the buildings fall. By the end of the second week, crews were digging the final remains of the structures out of the basements. The chain-link fence was still standing with red tape around the perimeter warning of possible hazardous materials.
    The empty space won’t stay empty for long, however, if new property owner Mark Crane, Mark’s Pizzeria founder, has anything to say about it. Crane is rebuilding his pizzeria, making it the first of its kind with a large family dine-in eating area, a perfect setting for parties and gatherings.
    “I will rebuild my new restaurant within about 50 feet on the same site as before,” Crane said. “I’ve always wanted to keep it right where it was; I do not want to move it. That building, as I’ve said, was very important to me. It was my first, and it held a lot of memories — some of them tangible, some in my heart.”
    Construction began Monday on the new restaurant. The building will be a one-story structure with a brick front, Crane said, about 23 feet tall, 50 feet wide and 60 feet deep. His hope is to have the restaurant open in time for trick-or-treaters this Halloween, he said.
    “Halloween wouldn’t be the same if the kids couldn’t stop into Mark’s Pizzeria for some treats,” Crane said, although he admits it’s not a lot of time to accomplish the task. But he reminds everyone that in 1969 a man by the name of Armstrong landed on the moon, so maybe anything is possible — only time will tell.
    Crane also plans to put in a gated park with benches and tables for everyone to enjoy. The park will be located to the right of the pizzeria and open when Mark’s is open, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Crane said the park will also be supervised at all times to deter trouble and he will be maintaining it.
    Page 2 of 2 - In the meantime, Palmyra customers are not without their Mark’s pizza.
    “We’ve got it covered,” Crane said. “We’re going out of our way to get pizza to our customers.”
    Four pizzerias in the surrounding area are serving the entire community. The Manchester location is serving the entire village and Mark’s pizzerias in Fairport, Newark and Walworth are covering the outlying areas of the town.
    See more of what Crane has planned for the new pizzeria's interior in next week's Wayne Post. We've got the blueprints and we'll be sharing the floorplan.
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