Engineers say buildings must be removed immediately due to imminent safety concern

April 9, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             Media Contacts:

April 9, 2015                                                   Dave Marchal, 574-3216                                              

Engineers say buildings must be removed immediately due to imminent safety concern  

Recent inspection finds Morrissey parking garage, including Typewriter building, and Falls City Theater Company building have significantly deteriorated and must be removed

LOUISVILLE (April 9, 2015) – Recent inspections by Louisville Metro’s Division of Construction Review and private structural engineers have determined three buildings in the 400 block of South Third Street should be removed immediately due to structural problems that pose imminent safety concerns for the community.

The buildings are the Morrissey parking garage, including the Typewriter building, and the Falls City Theater Company building, located in the block of the new Omni project.

In 2009, both structures were evaluated by a structural engineer and found to be in poor condition.  Last week, following heavy winter and spring storms, an evaluation by the same engineer determined the deterioration had increased, and that drastic temperature swings and heavy precipitation have increased the risk for building collapse outward, posing significant safety hazards to the public.

The Falls City Theatre Company building’s walls are sagging, bowing and “pulling away” from the structure causing a portion of the roof to cave in.  The back northeast corner is collapsed, posing significant safety concerns. Other issues include significant bowing and cracking of walls and failure of supporting elements.

Taking these observations into account, along with a review by its own staff, the Division of Construction Review confirms the findings that the buildings have significantly deteriorated, are in imminent danger of failure or collapse and present a safety hazard to the public.  Therefore, the agency has determined that the buildings must be removed.  The demolition process will begin immediately.

Historically significant items have been removed from the buildings and securely stored.

The former Water Company building, in the same Third Street block, remains under evaluation.  Recent examination by the structural engineer has determined that while the building has experienced structural decline, it does not pose the same imminent safety concerns for the community. If, following further evaluation, any demolition or removal of this building or its components is recommended, a collection of required agency reviews and public comment processes will be followed per Metro Ordinance. 

The former Odd Fellows Hall, which now houses the PARC agency, is not involved in this phase of review and remains in good condition.

To see current conditions of the Morrissey parking garage, including the Typewriter building, and the Falls City Theater Company building, see attachment. 3rdstreetbuildings.pdf

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