Darryl Carr, the owner of record of the Mugridge Steam Bakery Building at 110 South Park Avenue in the Cobblestone Historic District, was back in court yesterday. After pleading guilty and then not fixing seven building code violations on the property in March 2015, he was fined a paltry $13,500. He still hasn’t corrected the problems and was cited for thirteen violations on the property in November.
Built in 1852, the Muggeridge building is the oldest in the Cobblestone Historic district, and has been owned by Carr for nine years. He has proposed eliminating the building code violations on this building and a neighboring historic structure by eliminating the buildings themselves. He has attempted, through the Housing Court and Preservation Board, to demolish the structures to no avail. He has failed to repair or maintain the properties, to the frustration of many.
Carr reportedly wants the buildings demolished to construct a high-rise hotel on the site. No one has seen these plans and many suspect he is only interested in adding parking to the parking-saturated district. Carr has continuously snubbed his nose at the City, the public, and housing court Judge Patrick Carney.
Judge Carney had a pre-meeting before yesterday’s court session with Carr and his attorney, James Milbrand. “Plans” of some type were given to the judge but not commented on so it is unknown if the plans were for stabilization or development of the site.
The City will be installing jersey barriers at the property and will be charging Carr for the courtesy. Carr told the Court that his mason determined that the bricks on the Illinois Street side are “not in imminent danger of falling” and challenged the placement of the barriers. Though bricks are falling on the alley side of the property, he inadvertently hurt his argument that a demolition is necessary.
The next court date is scheduled for June 16. Carr’s mason is expected to meet with the City inspector on site to review stabilization work that must be done according to the Department of Interior’s standards. One of Carr’s harebrained ideas is to disassemble a chimney and reuse the bricks where the façade has crumbled. He was ordered to address all stabilization issues before June 16 including the gaping hole in the roof.
There was a sense from court observers that this is Carr’s last chance to fix the violations. That may require the City taking a more hands-on approach in getting the issues addressed. Stay tuned.