Aldermen discuss uncertain future of three downtown buildings, potential downtown investment
On the advice of multiple structural engineers, the City of Bowling Green Board of Aldermen agreed Monday evening to close portions of the 100 block of South Court Street in downtown Bowling Green to both motor vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
According to City Administrator Barb Allison, the street closure is necessary due to concerns over the stability of the three-story building at the intersection of South Court Street and Main Street.
“We had structural engineers in there today and they expressed several concerns about the integrity of the building,” Allison said. “They suggested that we move the barricades from the sidewalk and extend them to 12-feet from the building. We decided as an extra precaution to go ahead and close that portion of Court Street.”
According to Allison, the structural engineers had told Allison that they would draft a preliminary report of their findings within the week.
The city’s top administrative officer also said she was anticipating having the results of the asbestos test within the week.
“I think both reports are going to show something that is very severe,” Allison said. “The building is pretty bad. I think we need to do it as quickly as possible. We need to move on it.”
According to Mel Orf, the city’s building inspector, the historic three-story structure which was the original home of the city’s Masonic Lodge, may be replaced by new business development.
“I have heard of some interest from individuals that there is interest in building an office complex on that corner,” Orf said during the meeting. According to Orf, the space will be used by those working in professional-related industries.
Orf did not give any additional information regarding the potential downtown development.
The city’s leaders also discussed the future of the former Gas Company building and the former home of the Kirks Funeral Chapel. City officials say they are concerned about the stability of both structures.