It was a magnificent structure, and worthy of preservation. Unfortunately, there was no money to do it, and there was no sign that money would ever appear.
Without preservation, the breaker was a symbol of the bad old days-- dangerous working conditions, abused and under paid workers, pollution, scarred earth... It's a long list. You could see the breaker rising up as you traveled on Interstate 81, and I wonder what visitors thought when they saw it. I suspect most viewed the breaker as a symbol as an area that couldn't struggle away from its mining past, an area stuck in a depressed time.
When you add it all up, demolition was the only viable option.
Use this as a teaching moment. There are many structures in the area that can be, and should be saved. The Wilkes-Barre Boulevard train station and the Irem Temple on North Franklin Street are prime examples. Both are well on the road to deterioration that can't be fixed, and we'll lose them, too.