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The Marco Eagle is celebrating its golden anniversary, but the building that housed the newspaper for nearly five decades, up until Sept. 10, 2017, is being demolished.

The building at 579 E. Elkcam Circle, was designed by then-publisher William Tamplin. Last year, Hurricane Irma destroyed the building and almost everything in it.

“There’s been a lot of Marco Island history that has taken place within the walls of the Eagle office over the years," TJ Boone, Marco Eagle manager, told a reporter in March.

"I’ve had former employees contact me to share stories and express sadness about the catastrophic damage that the building suffered. This year would have been a milestone: 50 years."

Irma's 135-mph winds ripped the building's roof off with ease, leaving the interior completely open to the elements. As a result, nearly everything inside got drenched, and the floor was littered with pieces of insulation, ceiling tiles and other debris.

A few days after the storm, the Eagle's seven employees met at the building to sort through the rubble and save what they could, which wasn't much.

"We tried to salvage what we could, but almost everything was covered in insulation and had gotten wet, so we just took out some photos and supplies that weren't ruined and left the rest behind," Mary Quinton, Marco Eagle advertising account executive, said. "After working in the building for so many years, it was kind of an eerie feeling."

"At first it was very surreal and unsettling," Linda Flores, Eagle advertising account executive, added. "When you spend the majority of your time at work, it becomes like a second home."

"A little bit of our history is being erased, but the important work continues," said Bill Green, editor of the Eagle.   

The Eagle wasn't the only business that had to relocate after Irma; there were two other businesses just within the building: Island Montessori Academy and Advanced Insurance Underwriters.

The newspaper's current office is located on the second floor of the Mutual of Omaha building at the corner of San Marco Road and Barfield Drive. The office is not open to the public; readers, advertisers and other visitors should call ahead to make an appointment. 

 

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