JAMESTOWN – An emergency demolition for a downtown building had to be scheduled Thursday evening due to a partial collapse.
Jamestown police and city fire crews were called to the scene at 10-12 East Second St. on Thursday afternoon around 4 p.m. after receiving word that the roof of the three story abandoned structure had fallen in. The building sits next to Potters Alley.
According to City Development Director Vince DeJoy, the roof collapse – which was came after a previous collapse of a back wall section – is likely due to poor maintenance.
“The structural integrity had been compromised in the previous collapse of the back wall section, and with all the rain and moisture that we’ve had, my assumption is that it was just too much weight and another large section collapsed [Thursday] afternoon,” DeJoy said.
DeJoy also said that the building – which is currently owned by Chautauqua Home Rehap and Improvement Corporation (CHRIC) – had applied for state funding to improve the structure stability. But due to safety reasons following the collapse, city officials had no choice but to do an emergency demolition of the building.
“[The demolition crew] took the top two levels and basically brought the building down onto itself, just to remove the emergency situation that we have,” DeJoy said. “From there we’ll work on removing the debris pile and taking down the rest of it, stabilizing the hill, and there’s a bunch of other things that are going to have to happen to make sure its safe for pedestrians and adjacent properties.”
DeJoy added that it’s unlikely there are any other buildings in the downtown that pose a similar risk of collapse.
“We have a pretty good building stock here, even though they are old,” DeJoy said. “This one we’ve been watching for a long time. We’ve been aware of it and we’ve gotten a number of quotes to demolish it. [Earlier Thursday] there were structural engineers looking at it so we knew that it was only a matter of time, but we were hoping that funds could have come through to save the building – stabilize it, save it, and redevelop it. That was our plan all along, but now that plan has turned into something different.”
The building had been vacant for more than ten years. DeJoy says the city will be using emergency demolition funds to pay for the cost of bringing the building down, but added that it will also be seeking reimbursement as well.