Reduced to rubble

CHESTERTOWN — The most visible demolition of what was once the iconic Dixon Valve & Coupling Co. headquarters and manufacturing plant in the 800-block of High Street, which before that was the iconic Vita Foods pickle processing facility, began Thursday, May 16.

First there was asbestos abatement, from mid-March to the first week or so in April. According to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation website, the primary structure was built in 1955.

Building demolition is to continue though mid-June, according to a “site improvement schedule” that Washington College, which has owned the property for about four and a half years, released to the public in March.

Slab demolition is set for June 16 through the end of August, to be followed by site grading and seeding of the area from Sept. 1 to Oct. 15. 

Upon completion of the four-step process, the area will be “open space,” while the college explores a new campus master plan and charts the future use of the property. 

For the immediate future, the cell tower, the warehouse being considered for a maker space and the building which housed the former YMCA (previously known as Kent Athletic & Wellness Center) will remain on the site, according to Dominique Ellis Falcon, director of news and media relations for Washington College.

She said more information about the site, future uses and accessibility will be shared with the public as plans take shape.

In 2019, KRM Development Corp., the real estate division of The Dixon Group, “gifted” the 11-acre Dixon Valve & Coupling property to the college as the company prepared to move to its new, purpose-built campus just north of Chestertown.

In December 2023, the Town of Chestertown issued a permit to knock down four buildings on the site.



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