By now you’ve all heard the news of the stairwell collapse at the Fort Nelson Building on the corner of 8th and West Main Street. Three of four people touring the vacant structure fell three very tall floors when the stair apparently pulled away from the brick structural wall. Two officials with the Downtown Development Corporation, Alan DeLisle and Patti Clare, were badly injured and building owner Paul Bariteau suffered minor injuries; Paul’s wife Carolan luckily had made it off the stair prior to its collapse and was unharmed.
Everyone is now expected to survive the incident and both Patti and Alan have regained consciousness at University Hospital. They are still in intensive care but will continue to recover at the hospital over the next several days. This accident is horrific as everyone involved cared for improving Louisville so much.
Here’s a statement from Mayor Abramson about today’s events:
My thoughts and prayers are with Patti Clare and Alan DeLisle and their families. This was a terrible tragedy and Patti and Alan were doing what they love, working with a property owner to redevelop this beautiful historic building on Main Street.
Patti is a longtime leader in Louisville who has a passion for downtown and Alan, though new to our city, has quickly impressed me with his knowledge and ideas for continuing our downtown revitalization. I am hopeful for their quick recovery.
My thoughts are also with property owner Paul Bariteau and his wife, Carolan.
We told you about the Bariteau’s and their West Main Street properties in January. Paul and Carolan are two of the nicest people to be found in Louisville and we hope everyone involved in today’s events makes a quick and full recovery.
While we don’t know the exact details surrounding today’s events, the Fort Nelson Building is for sale, so the tour today could have been related to its marketing. The building had been stabilized many years ago and is considered to be structurally solid; the Bariteau’s had recently been making improvements to the neighboring building’s interior to assist with the sale. The inside is reported to be only a shell right now, but a creative redevelopment solution wouldn’t be hard to imagine. Hopefully today’s tragedy won’t pass in vain and something positive will come of the Fort Nelson Building that all four involved were working for.