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Proposed brewpub building in La Salle in danger of collapse

Issues with the structural integrity of the Maytag building in La Salle pose a risk to pedestrian safety, according to results from a recent building inspection.

The building, located at 801-805 First Street in downtown La Salle, is in danger of collapse if no action is taken to stabilize it, according to the report from the city of La Salle.

Building Inspector Andy Bacidore said in a communication to building owner Nathan Watson, president of CL Enterprises, the city is requiring CL to immediately install heavy duty tunnel walkway scaffolding under the south wall of the building. Bacidore said such precautions are necessary to protect pedestrians from a potential collapse of the building until a permanent solution can be reached.

CL is working with Bacidore and has ordered the scaffolding for the building, according to a press release from the city.

“We have been in contact with a contractor to install the walkway scaffolding requested by the city as soon as possible,” Watson said. “As always, we are committed to maintaining a safe downtown and will remain in close communication with the city of La Salle for the duration of this construction project.”

Watson said CL’s structural engineer has visited the property multiple times to assess the known structural issues with the architectural team. He said the city’s report has been sent to their structural engineer and architect to confirm that the issues found by the city were addressed in their original plans.

The inspection was done by Scott Brown from Wendler Engineering, a third-party structural engineering firm. Brown was contracted by the city to conduct an inspection of the Kaskaskia hotel on June 16 after the city acquired a search warrant. Building owners assisted the city in the search of the hotel and then invited the team to inspect the Maytag building.

The Kaskaskia and Maytag building are both being renovated by CL. The building report from the Kaskaskia has not yet been released.

In Brown’s report of the Maytag building, a few areas of concern were identified.

The most pressing concern is the south wall — it has a large, open crack and part of the south end of the west wall is separated and rotating outward. Brown recommended in his report to repair or create a temporary support of the west wall as soon as possible to prevent the building from collapsing. This is the area where the city is requiring CL to put in a tunnel walkway.

Another concern was leaning walls that could jeopardize the structural integrity of the building. The west wall has the most significant leaning out from the side of the building happening at the second floor. Similar leanings of less intensity were found at the center and east walls. The north wall showed numerous cracks and loose brick, and the wood floor joists meant to support load bearing beams are out of place. The windows and load bearing areas on the south wall are out of position.

These items were noted as areas of concern in the report, and some appear to have structural strengthening in progress, but the extent of the progress is unknown. Brown recommended in the report further evaluation or a discussion with CL to determine a course of action.

The renovation of the Maytag building at 801-805 First St. in downtown La Salle is a $4.5 million, 13,000 square foot redevelopment project to turn the building into the Rocket Brewpub.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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