Residents Divided Over Downfall of South Boston Smokestack

Southie residents are divided over the most recent change to the city

Another big development coming to South Boston will provide more than 600 new housing units, but "in with the new" means "out with the old," including an nearly 80-year-old smoke stack from a former industrial site.

Brick by brick, and chunk by chunk the Royal Crown smokestack built in 1930 in Southie came crumbling down Friday afternoon.

"Coming this way I’ve seen it driving to work everyday, and you know change is hard," said Katherine Marr who works next door to the old chimney.

The smokestack was the last standing piece of the 1.5 acre industrial site of the former Crown Uniform and Linen Service.

"I’ve been looking at this chimney behind us for 40-odd years and I think I’m going to miss it," said Dan Marr a business owner in the neighborhood.

A piece of history from a moment in time for Jon Piekutoski who worked at Royal Crown when he was 16 years old. His job was to unload and push the laundry buckets out of the trucks. Then he would refuel the trucks and park them. Coincidentally he helped knock it down Friday as the field projects manager for Core Investments.

"I was raised here all my life I still live across the street so I welcome the change," said Piekutoski.

The empty lot is a blank canvas to continue a face lift in Southie.

"We're developing 650 homes and a hundred thousand feet of retail with a park," said David Pogorelc, the developer for the project.

A sign of the times in Southie, but not everyone is welcoming the change.

Life-long resident Frankie is fighting to hang onto the "old," but knows change is inevitable.

"This isn’t about no yuppies or anyone else. it’s about the few people left remaining that can't get housing and get pushed out," said Frankie.

The new development will take three to five years to build, using brick from the tower for the new compound’s pathways.

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