The former McDonald’s building at 275 Railroad St. in St. Johnsbury has stood empty since the landmark fast-food restaurant closed in June 2018.

But on Wednesday the building was torn down by a demolition crew, leaving just a pile of rubble.

Property owner Peter Murphy of Murphy Realty said there continues to be no interest in redeveloping the commercial property and that ongoing reports of broken windows and other maintenance issues with the vacant building convinced him to tear it down now instead of having it fall apart over time.

“It was just going to sit there and waste away,” said Murphy.

McDonald’s operated at the Railroad Street location for over 40 years before it closed.

The restaurant had been owned and operated by Bartley Management company out of Derby, Vt., which also operates McDonald’s franchises in Littleton, Woodsville, Derby and Lyndonville.

But the beginning of the end came when Bartley Management decided to not renew its rolling five-year lease with Murphy in 2018.

Murphy applied for and was granted a town permit earlier this year to tear down the building.

The next closest McDonald’s restaurant is located about 10 miles away at 110 Broad St. in Lyndonville.


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