Paducah's downtown Kresge building may be set for demolition after the collapse of a large part of its roof. Paducah Fire Department Officials condemned the building this week fearing further damage might spill out onto the street. Officials said the building’s condition has been deteriorating for years and last weekend’s heavy rain only accelerated the damage.
Paducah City Manager Jeff Pederson authorized Lannie Jones Excavation to clear out debris and stabilize the interior costing the city $18,000.
"It's unfortunate that a structure of that size and that age had deteriorated and been neglected to the point of where it deteriorated in the roof due to rain and the elements and caused it to begin to collapse," said Pederson.
The Fire Department sent a letter notifying the building’s owner of the city ordinance allowing emergency demolition.
City Information Officer Pam Spencer said the damage to the historic landmark may raise new support for preserving and renovating other storefront buildings downtown.
“There is something that the city is considering to place into their budget, a roof stabilization program, we might set aside some money to help some of those building owners defer a little bit of the cost to entice them to go ahead and repair their roof so that their buildings don’t get into this type of shape" said Spencer. "It changes the fabric of your downtown, so that is something we would like every building owner to think about.”
Pederson said the city does not plan to take over the Kresge building but doesn’t want the lot to remain vacant either.
“The building itself is a testimony, I think, to the interest that Main Street has in historic preservation and what can happen if preservationists’ activities and strategies are not pursued,” said Pederson. “Hence a program like the prospective roof stabilization program that the city is looking at establishing.”
The city has not yet decided whether the historic downtown building will need to be demolished.