Scaffolding has been placed in front of the Gardener’s Cottage, 226 S. Court St., Medina, to protect passers-by. The city announced Wednesday the building whose back wall collapsed Monday will be saved.
NATHAN HAVENNER / GAZETTE Enlarge
MEDINA — A building in the Historic District that partially collapsed Monday will be saved.
City officials feared the building at 226 S. Court St. would have to be torn down. However, after an inspection by Westfield Insurance and building consultant Rudick Forensic Engineering, of Youngstown, it was determined to be repairable.
Gardener’s Cottage gift shop in the building will remain closed indefinitely until the back wall is rebuilt.
The side walls to the three-story building, built in 1873, were load-bearing. Even though there are some cracks on the side walls, city Building Official Dan Gladish said they appear strong.
“(The partial collapse) didn’t affect the integrity,” Mayor Dennis Hanwell said Wednesday, but noted the east and west walls of the building had no support.
“It was just a brick faade,” he said. “When the (rain) water got (behind it), there was nothing there to hold it.”
The mayor said the back wall has to be rebuilt from the ground up.
“In the meantime, they’ll have to put up sheeting to keep the weather out,” Hanwell said.
Scaffolding has been placed in front of the gift shop, owned by Carmen Greenberg, as a safety precaution and to prevent access to the front of the building. Parking spaces in front will remain closed.
The block of South Court Street closed since Monday morning where the collapse occurred reopened Wednesday afternoon.
Gladish said 18 residents and businesses were forced out because of the incident. With the exception of Gardener’s Cottage, the businesses are expected to be open today. They just won’t have gas service. Ohio Edison has restored electricity, but Columbia Gas service has yet to resume.
The mayor said Columbia Gas will have to connect a new line from Smith Road.
“They have to excavate the road,” he said.
“They can’t re-energize the existing gas line,” Hanwell said. “We’re trying not to delay this any longer.”
The mayor said he’s hoping to see Columbia Gas’ plan on installing a new gas line today or Friday. If it’s accepted by the city, work could start at the beginning of next week.
“It could have been a lot worse,” Hanwell said. “Everybody got together and worked diligently for a possible resolution.”
Many of the buildings on Public Square are almost 150 years old. Some business owners have asked about their buildings being inspected for any potential damage, but Hanwell said the city isn’t in the business of doing those inspections.
“It’s up to the buildings’ owners to have somebody with masonry expertise check them,” he said.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.