Building collapse worrisome, but could’ve been much worse

Published 8:52 pm Friday, July 7, 2017

Last week, we were finished with the weekend edition of the newspaper when an unexpected call came across the police scanner. The report was that a car had run into a building near the government center and bricks were all over the road.

As fast as possible, we got to the scene and gathered information, trying to find out exactly what had taken place. By now, we all know what really happened. The building that houses TWFG Insurance building, located at 10 North LaFayette Square, partially collapsed.

At last check, there still wasn’t a definite known reason for the collapse, although a reasonable assumption is that a month filled with rain took its toll on a building over 100 years old. Getting information on what happened was slowed some by the holiday week, since many officials were off on Monday and Tuesday.

The good news is that nobody was hurt. If the collapse had taken place at another time of the day — really any time before dark — the outcome could’ve been much different. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case.

If anything, the collapse should be a wakeup call to all of us, but especially those with older buildings around the city. It’s never a bad idea to get your house or work building looked at, especially as the infrastructure grows older and the years begin to pile on.

We hope others with buildings around the square will take notice and get an inspection done, just to be on the safe side. It couldn’t hurt anything and would be good for peace of mind, if nothing else.

We ran an old photo in the paper this week, showing the now-collapsed building as it was decades ago. It’s been a fixture on that corner for years, and it’s unfortunate to think that it’s future is currently up in the air.

However, the entire situation could’ve been much different. We’re thankful it wasn’t.