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Demolition Begins on Iconic Sears Retail Store on Admiral Wilson Blvd. in Camden

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(The former Sears retail store on Admiral Wilson Blvd.   Photo by Mike DeNardo)

(The former Sears retail store on Admiral Wilson Blvd. Photo by Mike DeNardo)

Mike DeNardo Mike DeNardo
Mike DeNardo, a veteran of KYW Newsradio for more than 25 years,...
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By Mike DeNardo

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Demolition is underway on a Camden, NJ landmark: the former Sears and Roebuck retail store is coming down.

Today, an excavator claw was tearing into the rear of the dilapidated former Sears building on the Admiral Wilson Boulevard.

Campbell’s Soup Co. owns the property now, and company spokesman Anthony Sanzio says the building is being razed over the next eight weeks to make way for an office park.

“We recognize that this property has played a role in the city’s culture and the city’s history, so there’s a certain element that’s bittersweet.  But we have to move forward,” Sanzio tells KYW Newsradio.

Sears and Roebuck opened the store in 1927 but left the property in 1971.

(Susan Hyland.  Credit: Mike DeNardo)

(Susan Hyland. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

Susan Hyland of Collingswood, NJ (right), who turned out to watch the demolition, had fond memories.

“It’s a part of your past that’s gone,” she said today.  “It’s a gorgeous building, I always thought.  It was fun to come up here.  I could think nothing of coming up here at night by myself, going in — I went in that back door over there.”

Sanzio says there’s no timetable for construction on the office park to begin.

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