Crews test safety of downtown building after facade collapse

Crews test safety of downtown building after facade collapse

The street around the old Garfield Building remained closed Tuesday afternoon. Bricks fell from the building during rush hour Monday afternoon onto East 6th Street near Vincent Avenue, causing quite a scare.

Officials say it was a masonry facade or parapet wall that actually fell.

Witnesses say a strong gust of wind hit around 4:15 p.m. when it happened.

Structural engineers hired by the building's owner spent Tuesday in high rise lifts inspecting the building. Their initial report indicates there is no structural damage.

A 30 foot section of a free standing masonry facade, through the combination of age and weather conditions, crashed down onto East 6th and demolished a minivan.

Engineers believe the remainder of the facade is stable and will not fall, but Matt Solomon, the director of construction for Millennia Housing Management is not taking chances.

"We're proposing a temporary strapping and reinforcing along the top, and then as part of our comprehensive rehabilitation, will do some more extensive repair and rebuilding work along the top," said Solomon.

That work will come as Millennia redevelops the building into apartments while preserving the historical integrity of the building's facade.

They expect a quick start to that reinforcement work.

The building is not currently occupied.

Cleveland Police say that due public safety concerns, the Bureau of Traffic will keep East 6th Street between Euclid and Superior closed until further notice, along with the westbound lanes of Euclid Avenue from East 9th to East 6th.

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