The historic Mt. Vernon townhouse undermined by the construction of a neighboring building is coming down.
Demolition crews today were tearing down the second floor of 4 East Eager Street, whose roof and upper floors were demolished yesterday.
The building was condemned last September after its owner, Landmark Partners, reported it had developed major cracks. The cracks appeared after an adjacent eight-story property, under construction by Landmark Partners under a different LLC, undermined its foundation.
Tenants were hurriedly evacuated on the night of March 24 after ceilings crumbled and plaster poured into the hallways following the botched excavation.
The building’s condition was reportedly not known to the city until September, when Landmark principal Jonathan Pannoni requested demolition of the building.
The Brew subsequently disclosed that a city inspector had been called to the site by a citizen complaint last April, but took no action after the project manager said the owners had shored up the damaged building.
After expressing frustration that the building, described as one of the best examples of Italianate architecture in the city, was damaged, the Commission for Historical & Architectural Preservation (CHAP) asked that the front facade be preserved.
Pannoni produced a consultant report calling preservation too dangerous because the building was leaning to one side.
Today, workers were seen inside the building as an overhead crane tore into the confined space, located across the street from the Maryland Club.
No Report from Housing
Back in September, Assistant Housing Commissioner Eric Uttenreither promised CHAP a full report on the circumstances of the building’s damage and said civil penalties against the owners were likely.
CHAP has not received the report, executive director Eric Holcomb said late last week.
Holcomb said CHAP still has hopes the owners will replace the building with a replica.
But he conceded Landmark Partners has made no such promise, and insurance claims and potential litigation are liable to keep the site an open lot for years.
“I can assure you that CHAP will pursue every means possible to get a building reconstructed on this property. But I have to caution that patience is needed.”
PRIOR BREW COVERAGE:
• “Somebody is culpable here,” says CHAP chairman (9/15-21)