Thanks to Andrew Cornelius for sending in a few ground level photos of the structure collapse at 1401 Story Avenue on the corner of Webster Street. It’s really quite surreal seeing a roof in a vertical position. He reports that cleanup work has already begun as of 6:30 p.m. Someone from the city says the current plan is to remove the debris and evaluate what can be saved. One person living in the back of the building that did not collapse has been barred from entering his home.
Another anonymous source overheard the building owner say a structural engineer had evaluated the building several weeks ago and advised adding structural support to keep the building standing due to some structural issues. Apparently, the building owner’s permit for sidewalk bracing was denied by the city. It’s unclear at this point why the permit was denied or whether that bracing would have been enough to have prevented the collapse. The building likely dated to the 1860s or 1870s.