Springfield building collapses, prompting emergency demolition; property owner to foot the bill

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield city officials executed an emergency demolition to an over 120 year-old building on Southern Avenue after years of failed maintenance led to its collapse, the city’s community development director said.

“We have actually had code enforcement orders on this facility since 2019, because we were starting to see structural decay and some interior collapse,” said Shannon Meadows, Springfield Community Development Director. “This was an absolute emergency action to protect health and safety.”

The city closed a portion of Southern Avenue and State Street so the controlled demolition could be completed. The closure is expected to last through the weekend, however residents will be able to access their homes.

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“The demolition of this building was not in the plans, but it had to happen right now,” Meadows said.

Trevor Toliver lives down the street from the building, which was last used as a metal stamping business. It had been vacant since at least the late 1990s, the city said.

“Glad to see it go.  It was bitter sweet, but it was time for it to go,” Toliver said. “It’s going to make the neighborhood look a little better.”

Toliver said he’d “seen walls falling and roofs caving in” at the property and that’s exactly what city workers passing through the area saw in the last 48 hours.

City workers triggered the emergency protocol over the last 26 hours, which led to all the paperwork being signed ahead of today’s demolition.

Meadows said the property owner will be responsible for paying the city back for the work done today.