Warren Tears Down Another 108-Year-Old Building To Keep Area Safe (VIDEOS)

By Emma Koch - 21Alive

August 15, 2013 Updated Aug 15, 2013 at 11:52 AM EST

WARREN, Ind. (21Alive) -- Another building was demolished in downtown Warren Wednesday.

Town officials decided to tear down another 108-year-old building. This is part of the town's effort to make sure its downtown buildings are structurally safe.

Previous Report:
The town of Warren in Huntington County will launch an effort to make sure its downtown buildings are structurally safe.

That's in response to a building collapse July 5th, during a summer festival.

The rubble from two vacant stores that caved in Friday will be hauled away to a landfill.

A third vacant store adjacent to those will also be demolished, because of the exorbitant cost associated with trying to salvage it.

Everybody is relieved the collapse didn't cause serious injuries.

The festival parade had wrapped up just minutes before, so there was still a crowd of people hanging around.

Folks scurried towards the scene of the commotion, concealed by flying dust.

A pile of debris is what remains of a former grocery store and antique store that used to stand next to each other.

" It was not like a sonic boom, but it was loud," said Warren Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison, who was nearby when the walls started tumbling down.

Police and firefighters in the parade responded immediately, because they were right there.

" They were already digging, moving bricks, making sure that there was nobody underneath the bricks," said town council president Julia Glessner.

A third empty store, right next to the demolished building, will also be torn down, because it would cost about $100,000 to stabilize and repair it.

It has a hole gouged in it, from the other building that gave way.

The Pulse Opera House, across the street from the area impacted by the collapse, is ready to host a new play production starting July 12th.

It will be evaluated to boost public confidence that it is safe for those in the audience.

But beyond that, a structural engineer out of Carmel has been hired to check out all the old buildings along Main Street.

Some date back to the 1800's.

" I think in the long run, as we assess our buildings, it's something that will be on record and probably will be done in a repeat fashion now for awhile," Morrison said.

" Most of them (business owners) also said that they are more than willing to let the structural engineer come in and do an internal inspection, just so that we can prevent this from ever happening again," Glessner said.

The building evaluations are a little unsettling for town officials, in case several more are determined to be unsafe.

It could further reduce the town’s stock of historically valued properties.

But it can cost a fortune to renovate or stabilize troubled buildings, and small municipalities like Warren aren't awash in money.

In addition, even if you do save them, commercial tenants aren't usually keen on locating in the core of small towns, so demolition can become the default solution.




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