If you take a walk by the Bosche Building, located at 918-920 Main Street (near corner of Allen Street), you will notice that the interior floors have collapsed. That is why the sidewalk has been gated off… to protect the public from injury. I have heard much speculation surrounding this building in recent months. Some say that the reason that the building has not been secured is due to nearby property owners who refuse to let anyone cross their property lines to work on the building. That sounds pretty outrageous if it is true. You would think that there would be some sort of emergency procedure to allow this process to move forward… even if it calls for utilizing neighboring properties to do so. I had heard that Rocco Termini had taken a look at the structure, so I called to ask him what he thought of the scenario. “Our architects say that the whole building can be saved,” he told me. “That building is in no worse shape than the Webb Building was.”
I then called Tim Tielman to see what he knew about any pending demolition:
“The building had gone up before the Preservation Board with a demo request a few years ago. At that point, it would have cost less to fix the building than demolish it due to the party walls (attached building on either side). The City didn’t act back then… that was three or four years ago. It’s a shame. The façade is so important… we don’t need another hole in the street. People should hold The City to task on this one. How can The City hold private property owners to task when they don’t uphold their own laws? Now the cost is going to be much more expensive. The upside potential is great. I would add bracing to the inside until permanent measures can be made.
“With the Red Jacket building next to it, we must save this building. The reason that The City should have some urgency on this is due to the present condition. The longer it takes, the more expensive it is going to be. We cannot have another demolition by neglect. There has been a collapse of floors inside. There must be architectural and engineering assessments made immediately. Then an action plan to save an architectural and urban resource must be developed. This could be a major part of the Main Street block development. The party walls would look like garbage if the façade came down. The enclosed open-air interior should be looked at for some sort of reuse since the floors have already collapsed.
“Some people have mentioned that there should be parking behind the façade (let’s hope that the whole structure does not come down to make way for parking). If the façade comes down Main Street will have another gap-toothed block. Demolition costs are so expensive on scenarios such as this one… that money should go towards shoring up the building in hopes of attracting an owner.
In recent weeks we have lost the Falcon Building, the McBride’s Building, and now we might lose the Bosche Building. You would think that in this day and age we would be able to save these structures or at least the facades… after a hundred years they need to come down now?