Hartford City Building Partially Collapses, Logistics Stall on Demolition

Published 05/13 2014 06:45PM

Updated 05/15 2014 07:34AM

A building in downtown Hartford City that was built in the late 1800's has been caving in for weeks now. The building has been an eyesore and a safety concern to residents but the building has yet to be demolished.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that this building from the 1800's is starting to collapse. The surprise is that, four weeks later, it's still here in the same condition. Other business owners in the area are not happy.

The Weiler building...It was once the second largest building in Indiana and home to a department store. For the last ten years, its been under its current private ownership. Ever since April 14th, the building has been partially collapsed.

"There’s always been this feeling where when you walk into the building that it could come down any time," said Patty Constable, Managing Broker with Real Living Property House, the building next door to the crumbling historic Weiler building.

"They knew it was deteriorating and for us to be very much inconvenienced on every level that were trying to sell our real estate," said Constable.

This property has been under its current ownership since 91 and shares a wall with the Weiler building. It’s currently condemned but the fear is that when the Weiler building finally gets demolished, so will its neighbor.

"Nobody actually came to do anything with it so now it's falling into itself," said Kevin Baird with "5 Star Roofing" the company that owns the property. Ironically, the roof of this 1896 building was the first to go. Baird says the reason the property still stands is out of his hands.

"We had people out here the day after it happened looking at it, the engineers took weeks to get out here, we had all the demolition ready," said Baird.

Hartford City Mayor Ben Hodgin (D) understands the concerns. However, he is most worried about public safety because the building has an entire intersection blocked off.

"I worry about the emergency vehicles going through, the fire department or the police department, they have to go around," said Hodgin.

This past July in the neighboring city of Warren, an old building also collapsed. There were minor injuries and it has since been demolished. The Weiler building owners say demolition should take place sometime after Memorial Day. They have not decided what to do with the property.

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