SALEM — Demolition began this week on a Canal Street property owned by Salem State University that has a strong link to this city’s manufacturing past.
The college plans to clear the site by the summer and use it for temporary parking to replace spaces lost on its central campus on Loring Avenue, where a $53 million, 354-student residence hall is currently under construction.
In 2010, Salem State acquired the former Weir Valve & Controls property for $4.5 million. The 3.5-acre site is located on a strip of land between Canal Street and Loring Avenue.
It is the former home of Atwood & Morrill Co., a valve manufacturer that moved here in 1917. The company made valves for the U.S. Navy and nuclear power plants. It changed its name to Weir in 2003.
Earlier, this was the location of Stanley Marine Engine Co., which made boat engines. In fact, there is still a “Stanley Building” on the site.
The building razed this week was a storage facility at the corner of Rose and Canal streets.
The blue buildings, which will come down next, were used by Salem State to store books and other material from its old library during construction of the Frederick Berry Library and Learning Commons. This demolition will be completed by the end of June.
In addition to Salem Diner, which the college acquired last year, the only structure to remain will be the Stanley Building on Loring Avenue, home to Information Technology and other university departments.
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.