SCRANTON, Pa. — One of the first buildings you see driving into downtown Scranton on Mulberry Street will soon be a memory.
That's one of the reasons why Jim Kuchwara wanted one last look inside the Red Carpet Inn.
"I'm from Scranton, so we know the old Holiday Inn, and now it's the Red Carpet Inn," said Kuchwara. "But once I spotted those flagpoles."
Kuchwara, a VFW commander, came looking for a deal on the hotel's three flagpoles. Nearly everything but the wall was for sale at an auction ahead of the hotel's planned demolition.
"We were down at the parade the other day, and we went by and saw the three flagpoles. I said it would be worth it for us to put a bid in on the flagpoles. We could get them. I guarantee, probably by the end of the day, if we get them, they'll be for someone already."
Kuchwara got the flagpoles, but not without a bidding war. It was one of the only contested sales. The full contents of some rooms went for only $20.
The auctioneer says everything purchased needs to be out by Friday, clearing the way for demolition.
We couldn't find one person here at the auction who was sad to see this place go.
"The smell is enough to get you out of here really quick, you know?" said Giovanni Piccolino, who owns a pizza restaurant in downtown Scranton.
Piccolino came hoping to score an extra oven, but he also wanted one last look at the place.
Scranton developer John Basalyga plans to build a 17-story mixed-use building in this spot.
"It'll be a lot better to look at when you're coming down the expressway into town, you know. Hopefully, that 17-story building he's talking about comes to fruition. I'm sure it will with him," said Piccolino.
The developer says he expects the hotel to be gone by the end of the year. It's still unclear when the development of the proposed 17-story building could begin.