Main Street Demolition A Delicate Situation For City

The phrase “wedged between two buildings” is usually used in a figurative sense.

However, in the case of the Stearns Building, the phrase can be used in the literal sense.

That is why city officials are saying it will be a delicate situation when the time comes to execute the emergency demolition of the building. On Monday during a Jamestown City Council work session meeting, Vince DeJoy, city development director, discussed the process of tearing down the vacant building that had a shift in facade that led to it being declared an imminent threat.

“The facade is in danger of collapsing,” he said. “There is no roof, no floors. It is basically a shell.”

Last week, DeJoy said city officials placed barricades around the Main Street building that is located directly north of the Arcade Building and near the railway viaduct. He said the building is triangular in shape, which has led city officials to nickname it the “Pie Building.” He added that hand tools will probably be used in the demolition because of its close proximity to other buildings.

“We will probably get something in during the next couple days on the costs,” DeJoy said.

Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said the building was purchased last year during the county’s tax foreclosure auction. He said city officials don’t know if the new building owner has insurance on the property.

Teresi said the Stearns Building is one of several on a targeted list of downtown properties city officials monitor on an ongoing basis. He said the demolition will be made more difficult because it was built in the 1800s. He added sometimes there are no building plans for older structures or, if there is a building plan, it cannot be read because of its age.

This is the third vacant building in downtown Jamestown since October to undergo structural problems. On Oct. 20, there was a partial roof collapse at 10-12 E. Second St., which required an emergency demolition for a portion of the building that night, with the rest of the building being torn down in November. Last month, another roof collapsed occurred at 103.5 W. Third St., at the former Betty Dixon Candy location.