Adjacent structures damaged when city-owned building fell | The Wilson Times
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Adjacent structures damaged when city-owned building fell

Posted on June 23, 2022

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The three-story, century-old building at 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

The three-story, century-old building at 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

The front and side of 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the adjoining structure on Tuesday.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

The front and side of 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the adjoining structure on Tuesday.

Damage to a 219 Nash St. E. building is visible where a firewall it shared with a now-demolished building collapsed, exposing the attic to open air.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Damage to a 219 Nash St. E. building is visible where a firewall it shared with a now-demolished building collapsed, exposing the attic to open air.

D.H. Griffin workers clear debris in front of 219 Nash St. E., which sustained considerable damage to its facade and firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

D.H. Griffin workers clear debris in front of 219 Nash St. E., which sustained considerable damage to its facade and firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

D.H. Griffin workers clear debris in front of 219 Nash St. E., which sustained considerable damage to its facade and firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

D.H. Griffin workers clear debris in front of 219 Nash St. E., which sustained considerable damage to its facade and firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

The three-story, century-old building at 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

The three-story, century-old building at 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

The front and side of 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the adjoining structure on Tuesday.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

The front and side of 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the adjoining structure on Tuesday.

The front and side of 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the adjoining structure on Tuesday.
Damage to a 219 Nash St. E. building is visible where a firewall it shared with a now-demolished building collapsed, exposing the attic to open air.
D.H. Griffin workers clear debris in front of 219 Nash St. E., which sustained considerable damage to its facade and firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.
D.H. Griffin workers clear debris in front of 219 Nash St. E., which sustained considerable damage to its facade and firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.
The three-story, century-old building at 219 Nash St. E. sustained considerable damage to its facade and its firewall when the city demolished the structure next door on Tuesday.

dwilson@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7818

The owner of a century-old building damaged when an adjacent city building was demolished Monday said Wilson officials never notified him of the impending work.

Robert Barnes, owner of a three-story structure at 219 Nash St. E., said a phone call from “a stranger on the street” informed him that part of his building was damaged when contractors razed the storefront next door at 221-225 Nash St. E.

RELATED STORY: Building razed after facade falls

Barnes said his building was constructed around 1922 or possibly earlier when the Hackney Wagon Co. filled in a gap between buildings at 219 Nash St. E.

The city of Wilson hired D.H. Griffin Wrecking Co. to partially demolish 221-225 Nash St. E. City officials wanted to preserve the historic building’s facade, but when a portion of the facade fell to the street, a decision was made to demolish the entire building.

BUILDING OWNER ‘SHOCKED’

In the process, a section of “party wall,” a shared firewall, attached to 219 Nash St. E. was ripped off Barnes’ building. The attic spaces below the roof were exposed to the weather.

Additionally, a section of the facade on Barnes’ building near the juncture of the two buildings was damaged.

The city-owned property at 227, 229 and 231 Nash St. E. sustained similar damage where the top portion of the party wall, or firewall, had been pulled off, exposing the attic.

Barnes said he hired ServPro, a damage recovery and restoration contractor, to cover his building and prevent further damage.

The damage was not as extensive as what was present at 219 Nash St. E. where the attic was exposed from the front of the building to the rear.

“The sad part of it is that the downtown development people and the city of Wilson did not notify us,” Barnes said.

He said he and his wife own five properties in Wilson and receive utility bills for each.

“They know us. It’s not like we’re strangers,” Barnes said. “It’s not like they didn’t know where to find either one of us.”

Rebecca Agner, the city’s communications and marketing director, confirmed Barnes wasn’t notified of the demolition in advance.

The side of 225 Nash closest to Douglas Street is owned by the city, Agner said.

“The other side is privately owned and is unoccupied,” she said.

Agner said Wilson Fire/Rescue Services personnel spoke with occupants on Friday, June 17, since the situation was critical.

Barnes wasn’t contacted because his building is unoccupied, she said.

“We apologize to the property owner that he did not know what was happening in the area,” Agner said. “We did not expect any damage to the property, and since the building was not occupied, it was not a life safety issue.”

Barnes said “a lady who knew us told us that our building had been damaged.”

“I learned it from a stranger on the street,” he said. “I have never seen anything like it.”

Barnes purchased the building in 2009 for $25,000, according to Wilson County tax records.

“I had bought that as an investment property to do something with it when I could for the community,” he said.

Barnes said he contacted an attorney to discuss the damage to his building and seek potential remedies.

“We are just going to seek advice at the present time and let them decide what is going to happen,” he said. “After we speak with them, then we are going to decide what to do with it.”

Barnes said he is “shocked by it, and abhorred as well.”

“The only building that was connected with that building was ours and the city’s, and they didn’t let us know about it. Nothing,” he said.

“What is important to me is the facade, but that has been ruined. It just doesn’t seem right. It’s just going to be a historic building with a repair job, a patch.”

Agner said the city has been in touch with Barnes to discuss cleanup and recourse for the damage.

‘NO COMMUNICATION’

Cat Brewer, a filmmaker and Nash Street Lofts resident at 215 Nash St., two doors down from the demolished building, said she first learned of the demolition Friday evening. Wilson’s city offices were closed.

“I came to my apartment, took out my valuables and went to stay with my dad in Fremont. I have had no communication from the city, from the fire department, from anyone, not even Chesson, other than to tell us we can’t park our cars in the back parking lot,” Brewer said. “I came to my apartment building Tuesday because I had Best Buy service coming by and was just informed by a tenant who talked to the fire department saying that the building was coming down at 1 o’clock.

“There has been absolutely no communication, and I find this extremely unacceptable and very unsafe. There is never a 100% guarantee that a building coming down is not going to affect the adjacent buildings, and there should have been some communication from the city or the fire department or the police department. I cannot get a hold of anyone. I have tried calling people and no one has responded.”

The Chesson Agency is the property manager for the Nash Street Lofts.

“We had been in contact with the city of Wilson regarding the stabilization of the building two doors down from the Nash Street Lofts,” said Matthew Chesson of The Chesson Agency. “We were asked to have the tenants move their cars to a location that would assure no damage to vehicles. We promptly contacted our tenants with this information. Our contact at the city of Wilson told us numerous times that the tenants at these units were in no danger, per the fire chief and the structural engineer from D.H. Griffin who were on site.”

Chesson said his company alerted residents immediately.

“This information was relayed to the tenants as soon as it was provided to us,” he said. “Our main focus has always been the safety of our tenants. We continue to be in constant communication with the city of Wilson to ensure that our tenants are still in no danger. We are sad for the loss of a building in historic downtown Wilson, but we appreciate everyone’s efforts to save it.”

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