Historic Building Leveled in Allegany County

May 16, 2011 Updated May 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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May 16, 2011 Updated May 16, 2011 at 6:28 PM EDT

CUBA, NY (WKBW) -- St. James Hotel on East Main Street was the oldest building in Cuba and the oldest hotel in Allegany County, built in 1835. The historic hotel caught fire early Saturday morning and had to be knocked down on Sunday. "It was totaled and it was in such bad shape they had to take it down," Carol Donovan, with the restoration group Cuba Friends of Architecture, said. "This was a major piece of history coming through Cuba."

Residents and restoration groups say they are saddened by this great loss. "Especially my group... interested in saving these old buildings and it was sad to see this go," Donovan said.

No one was in the building at the time of the fire. The current owner of the hotel was reportedly restoring the structure and was just weeks away from re-opening it. "Going to restore the rooms, have apartment rooms or rooms to rent," Donovan said. "Build a restaurant here or a bar...had pretty much finished it."

No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is being investigated.