The facade was all that remained of a building at 535 Second St. that had been razed, said Larry Justice, plumbing and building inspector with the Portsmouth Engineering Department.
“The section that fell took the aluminum awning out that was on the front of the building when it fell down on it,” said Larry Justice, plumbing and building inspector with the Portsmouth Engineering Department. “The building was razed several years ago. They left the front facade of the building. They were concerned about it holding up the walls to the other building.”
The offices of Howerton Engineering are located next to the crumbling structure. Richard Howerton Sr. said most of the other buildings in that area have a crown on the facade.
“The crown front on this building was mainly masonry. I guess over a period of time water and erosion deteriorated the interior masonry work of the structure. That’s why the whole crown fell off,” Howerton said.
Justice said the city is working on notifying the property’s owner, Margaret Russell, about the condition of that facade. The city had Boone Coleman Construction remove what fell from the building and properly dispose of it.
According to the Scioto County Auditor’s office, the City of Portsmouth put an assessment on the property in 2006 for $9,905.86 related to demolition costs. Including property taxes, Russell owes $12,695.52 in back taxes on the property.
“There was no damage to the surrounding buildings. I am concerned about the remaining structure of the building. I’m afraid the rest of the structure might fall down, if it’s left to go uncontrolled,” Justice said.
Russell could not be reached for comment.
WAYNE ALLEN may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.