Fayette County

Section of East Third Street closed

A portion of East Third Street could be closed for two days because of concern that a building along the street is falling down.

The street is closed between Race Street and Shropshire Avenue. The building in possible peril is 524 East Third Street, at Warnock and Third streets. Warnock also is closed.

The 60-year-old, two-story brick building looks as if a large bite has been taken out of the top of the east wall. The west wall is cracked and bowed.

David Jarvis, the city's director of code enforcement, said building owner Daryl Griffith was served with an emergency order Monday afternoon requiring him to demolish the building in 24 hours. If Griffith doesn't knock it down, the city will do it and send him the bill, Jarvis said.

The city condemned the building six months ago after inspecting it because a car had knocked a hole in the west wall, Jarvis said. The building had been damaged by rainwater pouring in through the roof, he said.

The owner appealed that condemnation; the appeal was scheduled to be heard later this month, Jarvis said.

James Mason, a member of the nearby Cobras Motorcycle Club, said the building was a nightclub in the late 1950s and early '60s but has been vacant for a long time.

Thomas Tolliver, who lives a couple of blocks away, said he reported the hole when the car hit the building. He looked through the hole at the time and saw that the floor had fallen in and that the interior walls were gone.

Tolliver said he noticed the latest problem Sunday afternoon, when part of the roof had fallen in and bricks were laying on the ground.

"I'm glad nobody was hurt, but if what happened causes the building to be torn down, then it was a good thing because it removes one more eyesore from the East Third Street corridor," Tolliver said.

The suggested detour for Third Street motorists is Race Street to Fourth Street to Shropshire and back to Third Street.