Stabilization of James Bell Tavern is underway

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – The James Bell Tavern sits partially demolished in Silver Spring Township.

The property owner, Triple Crown Corporation, stopped demolition after concerned citizens said a conversation about the Bill of Rights at the building gives it historical significance.

Tuesday, contractors began stabilizing the tavern which has been standing half demolished for months.

“The old mortar wouldn’t really hold up well to spring rains and the high winds we’ve been having is causing some concern,” said Kevin Hollowell, owner of Hollowell Restorations. “We’re going to try to shore it up and steady it so that people can actually assess the damage to it right now.”

Triple Crown Corporation hired Hollowell Restorations to stabilize the tavern. They are doing it all by hand.

“I’m picking through the rubble to salvage any pieces that we need either to use again if they’re useable or use them as patterns to duplicate,” Hollowell said.

For a grass roots group called Patriots of Captain James Bell’s Tavern, the goal is to make the tavern picture perfect again.

“I think it is positive. I know it’s a little late in coming, but at last, it’s coming,” said Christin Musser, president of Patriots of Captain James Bell’s Tavern. “It’s happening now.”

“My point of view is it was built once, we can build it again,” Hollowell said. “I do this for a living. I restore old buildings and, of course, I’m sad to see when stuff like this happens. You’ve got to pick and choose what you want to save, but right now we’re coming down to the end of what we have available around here and I’d hate to see us lose anything.”

Mark DiSanto, CEO of Triple Crown, said negotiations on the tavern’s future are ongoing. He hoped to have some sort of resolution in six to eight weeks.

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