The three-story red brick vernacular building that lost its roof in Windstorm 2008 has now been reduced to a pile of rubble. We told you a month ago that the building was declared an emergency demolition candidate and it was only a matter of time, but this was the scene this afternoon. The rest will be coming down soon. It’s unfortunate to see this one go, especially since the area around NULU East Market Street and Liberty Green is rapidly being redeveloped.
And it didn’t appear to us, anyway, that the building was that far gone. There were a couple cracks in the west brick wall, and of course, a large portion of the roof was missing, but the building appeared solid. As we’ve said many times before, these austere brick and limestone vernacular buildings are some of our favorite historic structures. You can’t just save the monuments; the historic city fabric has its own unique qualities. They’re also useful urban buildings as they allow easy conversion into mixed-use developments. It’s over 100 years old, too. Probably older, but we couldn’t find an accurate age. Many structures like it date to the 1870s or 1880s.
The wooden timbers in the building are being salvaged along with some of the stone that made up the facade, but it’s a shame the entire building had to go to waste. Apparently the Metro Housing Authority had looked into purchasing the building and its adjacent vacant lot, but the price was too high. The building would have likely been demolished in the future anyway. Its location (along with quite a few other historic properties) will be torn down if that huge Spaghetti Junction gets built doubling the size of Interstate 65 through downtown. That billboard on the side of the building: it’s going to stay.