On Tuesday, a part of the past in Syracuse was literally torn down.
The south end of the building now used by Post 223 of the American Legion in Syracuse, 1806 S. Huntington St. (SR 13), was demolished by Don & Sons Excavating, Syracuse. Originally the building had been built in about the mid-1950s for Hoosier Skateland, a popular roller skating rink.
Most of the skating rink is gone now, though a small part of it actually went into the current bar area.
That portion of the building had become more of a liability than an asset for the American Legion and it was decided to tear it down.
The precise year Hoosier Skateland opened could not be recalled, but Sue Kennard remembers going to the skating rink as early as about 1955 on Sundays. Hoosier Skateland was owned and operated by brothers Keith and Cliff Cripe.
It was a popular skating rink and, in addition to skating, there were the sock hops so well known in that decade, a snack bar and a disco ball in the center of the room before disco balls were commonly known as such. “It was really a lot of fun and it kept us off the streets,” Kennard said.
There are two explanations given for where the floor in the skating rink came from. Some feel it was used at the old Sargent’s Hotel while others believe it came from the Waco Dance Pavilion.
By sometime in the 1960s, the building became a furniture store and when the American Legion purchased it in the mid-1970s, it was known as the Brammer Furniture Store and owned by Bill and Betty Brammer. The American Legion had originally been located in uptown Syracuse.
To prepare for the demolition, a retaining wall was built along the south end of the part of the building still standing. Jim Brown, a member of the building committee, said there are no immediate plans to use the space created by the demolition but for now just grass will be planted.