Sidewalks closed after bricks fall off downtown Springfield building


Sidewalks have been closed on parts of Main and Fisher streets in downtown Springfield because of safety concerns about the facade of Hull Plaza, city leaders said Wednesday.

The property owner said he hadn’t been notified about the issue.

Building inspectors were at the 4 W. Main St. office building Wednesday after a large section of facade fell off Tuesday, Springfield Community Development Director Shannon Meadows said.

RELATED: Renovations begin at prominent downtown Springfield building

The city’s main concern is the health and safety of pedestrians and drivers, Meadows said.

“A small brick falling from eight stories in the air gets enough velocity that it can be very significant damage to an individual,” she said.

It could also cause a traffic accident, she said, or property damage.

The city first issued orders to repair the building’s facade in April 2016. The building’s overall structure doesn’t appear to be threatened, Meadows said.

“The facade is what we are concerned about,” she said.

Property owner Robert Hull said this was the first he heard of problems with the facade.

“I will work with the city to get this resolved,” he said. “That’s all I can do at this point. I don’t really know what they’re doing or what’s going on.”

He was unaware the building would be inspected, he said, or that a piece of the facade had recently fallen.

The city had contacted him about a problem with bird feces, he said, that they were in process of fixing.

Springfield Chief Building Official Jene Gaver used a cherry picker truck on Wednesday to check the building.

“You’ve got mortar that’s deteriorated. You’ve got brick that’s cracked,” Gaver said. “And the pieces that we pulled out of there could’ve actually fallen and hit somebody on the sidewalk.”

He said he was able to pull a brick from the fourth floor with his hands.

“We saw that it separated in spots and that some of the brick is pushing out and cracking,” Gaver said.

The damage is likely caused by the changing of the seasons over time, he said, which causes repeated freezing and thawing. The property owner will likely need to pull some brick out and re-lay it to make repairs, he said.

The closed sidewalks were a shock to Wittenberg student Derek Williams, who was getting his haircut at a barbershop in the building when building inspectors showed up.

“It’s scary,” Williams said. “I was walking out on the sidewalk like 15 minutes before it happened.”

He thought several buildings downtown could be dangers because of their age, he said.

“There needs to be some work done on some of these buildings,” he said.

Meadows will review the building inspection results with other city departments to determine the next steps to make sure it’s safe. It’s unknown the the sidewalks will reopen.

5 MUST READ SPRINGFIELD STORIES

Springfield examines officer, medic safety after Ohio police overdose

Unknown Clark County treasure opens this weekend

74-year-old Springfield man accused of choking relative over lawnmower

Snyder Park Elementary students to plant natural habitat

Kenton Ridge senior never missed a day of school



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Layer Park opening could be delayed a few months
Layer Park opening could be delayed a few months

The reopening of Layer Park in Miami Twp. could take a couple more months, despite the sign out front indicating "Park will open in Spring 2018."  The park has been shut down since January 2016 because of high levels of lead and arsenic found in the ground.  The lead and arsenic was initially found back in 2013, when the park was...
Air Force urged to pick Wright-Patterson for hundreds more jobs
Air Force urged to pick Wright-Patterson for hundreds more jobs

Wright-Patterson could add 400 jobs if Air Force leaders are persuaded by Ohio’s congressional delegation to locate a F-35 stealth fighter office to the Miami Valley base. The Defense Department and the Air Force have not said how many bases are in contention for the F-35 Product Hybrid Support Integrator Organization. But Dayton Area Chamber...
Missing Adult Alert issued for Warren County man with dementia
Missing Adult Alert issued for Warren County man with dementia

A Missing Adult Alert has been issued for an 83-year-old Warren County man who suffers from dementia. Homer Howard left his Maineville residence at 10:15 a.m. today and has not returned. He stands 5 feet 11 inches, weights 190 pounds, and has gray hair and blue eyes. He is believed to be driving a gray 2012 Ford Fusion with Ohio plates CA35QV. Anyone...
Police: Mother facing charges after Urbana elementary student comes to school with cocaine in system
Police: Mother facing charges after Urbana elementary student comes to school with cocaine in system

A 7-year-old Urbana student came to school high on cocaine on Monday, police said. The child is a student at North Elementary, one of the district’s kindergarten and first-grade schools, and was acting very unusual in the late morning, according to police and school officials. “The student was drowsy, groggy and they thought there might...
Mumps outbreak reported at University of Cincinnati
Mumps outbreak reported at University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati is reporting that at least two students on campus have been diagnosed with the mumps. The two cases of mumps along with a third suspected case have been reported on UC’s west campus within the last two weeks, Kim Miller, executive director of health services told WCPO in Cincinnati. Mumps is a contagious disease that...
More Stories