She and some other downtown neighbors were watching the demolition. Every person who stopped to watch — seven people in one 20-minute period — got their cell phones out to snap photos or video, except for one man who had a professional-looking camera.
"It was a part of history," explained Ayala. "That building has been here a long time."
The building stood for decades as a warehouse, then, with refurbishment, it served as a bar, a restaurant with southern food and, for about 10 years, a Mexican restaurant used as a gathering spot for downtown business people, families and, at times, Spanish classes from the high school trying out their language skills.
The demolition came as welcome news to safety officials.
"It's dangerous, and it looked terrible," said Miller of the burned-out ruins.
The memories, however, were good.
"We spent a lot of time here as a family," reminisced Ayala. "I hope they rebuild."
— News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark