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Downtown building that was evacuated Thursday fails city inspection


The City of Columbia Public Works evacuated Downtown Columbia's Guitar Building on Thursday after bricks fell from it Wednesday.

An ABC 17 News records request from the City of Columbia revealed the building failed a Wednesday inspection. There were seven inspection points on its checklist that the building owned by Kimberly Hughes failed, including:

  • Structures that have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to be dangerous to the life, safety, health or welfare of the occupants or the residents of the city.
  • Structures that are so dilapidated or decayed that they are a danger to the life, safety health or welfare of the occupants or residents of the city.
  • In the opinion of the code official, there is imminent danger due to an unsafe condition, the code official shall order the necessary work to be done, including the boarding up of openings, to render the structure temporarily safe.
  • The exterior of a structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary so it does not to pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.
  • It has structures that have parts that may fall and injure members of the public or property.
  • Roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent dampness or deterioration in the walls or interior portion of the structure. Roof drains, gutters and downspouts shall be maintained in good repair and free from obstructions. Root water shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a public nuisance.

The inspection found that loose portions of the masonry on the failed wall at the top of the building must be removed immediately.

The inspection states that an analysis of the failed potion "must be performed by a registered professional engineer." The engineer is required to include temporary and permanent stabilization recommendations for the wall.

The damaged wall is required to be removed and secured to prevent further damage. A registered engineer will be required to evaluate the removed damaged section and all of the remaining walls for structural soundness before Walnut Street can be reopened.

The roof will also need to be protected from any further damage caused by weather and rain. A third party at the building reported, "leaks from the rain event the day prior."

The inspection calls for the roof to be repaired permanently and all water damage to be repaired as well.

The City of Columbia Public Works tweeted Walnut Street between Eighth St. and Ninth St. will remain closed until the necessary repairs are completed.

The building was evacuated early Thursday and pedestrians and motorists have been asked to avoid the area.

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Marina Diaz

Marina is a Multimedia Journalist for ABC 17 News, she is originally from Denver, Colorado. She went to Missouri Valley College where she played lacrosse and basketball, and anchored her school’s newscast.


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