Comments (7) 4:55 AM posted by admin |
I’m sure there are a hundred cell phone pictures and the Facebook updates will eventually come, but when someone asks you the questions, “Where were you when the Thompson Building burned down?” you’ll probably tell them “asleep”. Both Linda French and Pete Murdock have better pictures than I do, but I can tell you the inside is gone. Some interior walls have collapsed. The back of the building is crumbling.
This is very sad with a lot of irony mixed in with it.
At tonight’s City Council meeting, the City Attorney updated us that Mr. Kircher petitioned the Michigan Supreme Court to hear hs case on the demolition of 107 East Cross Street (the white house directly behind the Thompson Building). Mr. Kircher has also filed an appeal with the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office. The City had been granted permission to demolish the building. The Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling. Now that these appeals have taken place, it’s safe to say that it will be years before that building comes down. The house at 107 East Cross will likely be standing long after the Thompson Building comes down.
What’s also ironic in all of this is that in 2006 Mr. Kircher lost ownership of the Thompson Building to Stewart Beal after Mr. Kircher failed to remit payment for repairs done on the building to remove fire code violations stemming from a process that began in 2001. Follow me here. Mr. Kircher owned the building for 40 years. It had what the courts called significant fire code violations. It was placed into receivership in order to remediate said violations. Ownership was lost due to non-payment. The building burns down.
Mr. Beal must be devastated as the owner. Andy Garris must be devastated as a potential tenant. Depot Town will be devastated as it’s now likely the district will not get any bigger. Ypsilanti will be devastated as a once promising redevelopment project is likely delayed indefinitely.
This is very sad. My sincerest condolences go out to Mr. Beal.
A frustrating footnote to all of this is that all of the fire departments that showed up to this were awesome, but onlookers were overheard bitching about the lack of progress on the fire despite the efforts to keep the fire from spreading to neighboring buildings. Ypsi City, Ypsi Township, Ann Arbor City, Pittsfield Township, and Superior Township were all on the scene doing what appeared to be an incredible job.
Pete Murdock’s pictures: