TROY — A Miami County judge ruled there is not an imminent risk of the Tavern building on West Main Street in downtown Troy collapsing and that it can be structurally supported for now.
Common Pleas Judge Stacy Wall made the ruling released this morning following an emergency hearing Wednesday afternoon on the building’s structural condition, after demolition of a rear portion began earlier in the day.
The demolition was halted by a city “stop work” order and an injunction sought by the city of Troy and approved by Wall.
A rear section of the building described as a garage dating to the 1930s was removed before the orders.
Wall also ordered building owner 116 West Main, and agent Randy Kimmel to “shore up the busted header and sagging bricks on the south wall” of the building. The damage was described during Wednesday’s hearing.
The work should be under the direction of a structural engineer and should be done no later than noon Friday, March 31, according to the court’s decision. The judge also ordered that debris left behind the building by Wednesday’s demolition activity should be placed in roll-off containers on-site no later than 5 p.m. Friday.
A hearing on the city’s request for an injunction against further demolition work is scheduled for Tuesday, April 4.
The building was damaged in a January 2020 tornado. The sidewalk and parking in front have been fenced off for the three-plus years since. The owner’s proposal to demolish the building, which has portions dating to the early 1800s, has been controversial and the result of multiple court proceedings.
The building is in a prominent location just a block west of the Troy Public Square and near the county government complex that includes the historic 1880s Courthouse. The Tavern building lies within the city historic district but is not listed on historical records. Historic preservation advocates fighting to save the structure contend, however, that it is of significance for several reasons, including housing an early county Courthouse.
The city had approved demolition, but after a court challenge, Judge Wall overturned the city’s ruling, saying city codes were not followed in the decision. The court of appeals last week upheld Wall’s ruling.
The Miami County Building Department earlier this week issued an adjudication order stating the building was unsafe and posed a safety hazard. The owners argued Wednesday that the order allowed them to move forward with abating the situation through removal, or demolition.
The building department responded that the order did not override other orders involving the property, including a stay of demolition issued by the court during litigation.
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