WOODBURY — There’s no telling what sort of trash or treasure might materialize when you’re gutting a building more than 130 years old.
RPM Development Group is keeping a lookout as they begin interior demolition at the historic G.G. Green Block building.
This week, workers were hauling items out of the structure — which is now being restored and redeveloped into a mixed-used, age-restricted residential space.
RPM Development, the firm behind the entire transformation, is removing much of what’s left inside of the former opera house and saving whatever they can.
The group intends to salvage as much of the building and its original appeal as possible.
“We haven’t found too much that is of interest yet,” said RPM Vice President Kevin Kavanaugh. “We’re still demolishing our way to the balcony. Rumor has it there’s an old projector up there.”
Originally built as an opera house for live performances, the Broad Street location has included a movie theater, The Rialto, and first-floor retail space later on.
It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.
Though unsure of what’s left in the building, the Woodbury Antique Centre has expressed some interest in what’s to be found.
Kevin Green from Local 77, right, passes wood from the inside of the G.G. Green Building in Woodbury, to Gil Jarosz, from Pepper Environmental Services, as they gut the inside of the building, Wednesday, September 5, 2012. (Staff Photo by Tim Hawk/Gloucester County Times)
An employee who declined to be named said they’d be willing to take “basically anything” that’s worth something.
The Gloucester County Historical Society is willing to accept donations for their museum as well.
“I’ve never been inside, but it’s really interesting,” said museum coordinator Kathy Fleming. “We’re always up for looking at any items that are of significance to Gloucester County.
As part of the redevelopment plan, Kavanaugh said the group was looking to salvage and repurpose as much of the old opera house as they could to retain the historical relevance of what once was.
“We’re found some six-feet wall sconces and neat art deco that we’re going to try and use somehow, but, again, nothing very interesting yet,” Kavanaugh said. “We’d be more than willing to give whatever we can’t use in the building to anyone.”
RPM is also revitalizing the former #1 Chinese Kitchen and Christian Science Reading Center, which is attached to the G.G. Green building. Both of those contemporary structures will be demolished and rebuilt in the original style of the G.G. Green Building.