MUSKEGON, MICH. - In the 1890's Muskegon workers began making high-quality pianos inside the Chase-Hackley building on Shoreline Drive.
Production at the factory lasted until 1930. After the factory closed the building was used as office space for the Sappi Paper Mill.
This 120-acre site on Muskegon Lake was purchased by Pure Muskegon. Much of the land has already been cleared and prepared for the proposed Windward Pointe development. That project is expected to be a sprawling multi-use development with marinas, housing, retail and commercial space. The waterfront property will likely play a big role in the city's future.
On Monday Sept. 18, workers started slowly knocking down portions of the piano factory at the Sappi property.
"I mean it is always sad to see a beautiful building like that go," said Sandy Spira.
Spira watched as the first walls of the factory were knocked to the ground.
A group of Muskegon residents didn't want the piano factory removed. Earlier this year several hundred signed a petition asking developers to save the building. But developers determined it would be too costly to renovate the nearly 130-year old building.
"I think we are fortunate that this is all going to be developed," Spira said.
In July one of two smoke stacks at the property was removed.
The second has been cleaned. It too is ready to be knocked to the ground.
When the Windward Pointe development was announced in 2016, developers said it could be a 200-million dollars project that may take a decade to build.
The remaining smoke stack is expected to come down on Sunday, Oct. 1. The stack should be knocked down around 9 a.m.
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