HDDC authorized demolition of downtown structure Monday night

After taking another look both inside and out of the structure at 200 North St. in Hannibal, Building Inspector Joey Burnham put up caution tape Wednesday on the east and west sides of the building.

“I put the caution tape up just to keep people from getting up close to the building,” said Burnham on Thursday morning at City Hall.

Is the red caution tape much of a deterrent?

“That’s all we can do,” said Burnham.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Historic District Development Commission (HDDC), Lyndon Bode, the son of the building’s owners, Clarence and Ada Jo Bode, urged the city to put up barricades on the east and south sides of the 108-year-old building.

“I would encourage the city tomorrow morning (Tuesday) to barricade off the lighthouse steps and portions of North Street,” he said. “The main concern is when it collapses it will fall to the east (toward the steps).

“The front will be the concern. Where will it go? It is the tallest part of the building. Will it collapse in or fall out into the street? That’s the question nobody knows. That’s why I would encourage the city for safety purposes to block it off.”

As of Thursday, the lighthouse steps next to the building, plus the sidewalk and North Street immediately in front of the structure, remained open to the public.

A preliminary, yet necessary, step in the city’s demolition process was taken Wednesday when an asbestos test was conducted inside the structure. According to Burnham, the test results will not be known for from five to seven days.

Liberty Utilities will also have to perform some work at the site before the building can be brought down.

“Right now the gas line is still hooked up. Even if you take the meter you still have a live gas line to the side of the building. That has to be ‘retired’ before demolition can start,” said Burnham.

Because the demolition will be done in-house by city forces the North Street shop will have to wait until its number comes up.

“The Street Department is finishing up one (demolition) now and may then be starting on another one. We are waiting for an asbestos test for it (next demolition site). That one is next on the (city’s demolition) list,” said Burnham.

The building inspector declined to speculate when the North Street building might come down.

“It depends on how fast all this comes together and how fast the other house comes down that is scheduled (for demolition) before this one,” said Burnham.

Can the North Street building, which has an assortment of serious structural issues, wait until city personnel arrive to bring it down?

“If we don’t have any big storms I think it will be all right,” said Burnham. “You never know with these old structures. They can stay there for 10 more years or may fall the next day.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com