Date of release: February 21, 2019
Photo: Image taken February 20, 2019, showing the collapsed section of the roof at 318 Broadway.
The City of Paducah has secured contractor Danny Cope & Sons Excavating, LLC to begin the emergency demolition of the building located at 318 Broadway, formerly known as the Kresge Building. This week, a structural engineer hired by the City deemed the building a hazard which requires its immediate demolition. Recent rain and wind have accelerated the deterioration of the structure.
The contractor will mobilize equipment today to begin the demolition. For safety reasons and to facilitate the process, one lane of Broadway and the sidewalk will be closed between 3rd and 4th Streets for the duration of the project which is expected to last at least a month. There will be periods of time that both lanes of Broadway between 3rd and 4th Streets will need to be closed.
To begin the process, the building’s front and back will be stabilized so that the interior walls then can be detached from the adjacent buildings safely and without harming the neighboring structures.
The City purchased the building in October 2018 for less than $400 as part of a foreclosure process with the intent to raze the deteriorated building and advocate for future redevelopment.
City Manager Jim Arndt says, “Our goal in purchasing this dilapidated structure last year is to protect the neighboring buildings and the public who use the sidewalk and Broadway. Removing a building from historic downtown is never something that we want to do. This week, a few bricks fell from the façade which was a sign for the City to expedite the demolition process to protect our historic downtown.”
Paducah Main Street Director Katie Axt says, “The City of Paducah has a robust toolbox of programs for property owners to utilize for the preservation and redevelopment of historic buildings. In 2013, the City of Paducah identified that roofs were a keystone component of stabilizing downtown historic buildings and initiated the Roof Stabilization Assistance Program as its first downtown development incentive program. Over the past four years, the City, through Paducah Main Street, has awarded approximately $400,000 to 20 roof stabilization projects, which in turn has leveraged an additional $520,000 in direct private sector investment.”
Axt adds, “The Kresge is an unfortunate example of the specific risks to our historic assets and what happens when a private property owner does not maintain their property. Roof deterioration leads to increasing damage to walls, utilities, facades, and foundations. In extreme cases, the building fails. We strongly encourage property owners to utilize our downtown development programs so that we as a community do not lose another building that contributes to Paducah’s unique history and heritage.”
The building at 318 Broadway has not been occupied for more than two decades.