An online petition has been launched to save a Eureka building that is more than 140-years-old, but one neighbor says it needs to be torn down.
The building known as the Ice House was built in the 1870s, it was once used to produce and store large blocks of ice, but has sat vacant for years.
Pam Wilson, who owns a daycare right next to the Ice House believes it is a nuisance that should be torn down.
“The whole side just fell in and it was nothing but rotted wood, all rotted,” Wilson said.
Wilson says every day she has to make sure there’s nothing in the yard that could hurt the kids at the daycare.
“We have sheets of metal flying off during storms. Nails, siding insulation, we’ve been putting up with this for five years, we’re done,” Wilson said. “I love old buildings, my building is a hundred years old, but we’ve had so much debris.”
Despite Wilson’s view, there is a movement to save the building. An online petition to save the structure gathered about 800 signatures in less than a week.
“We don’t have a lot of historical structures in Eureka, got a block and a half, two blocks. So, this is significant, it’s not really been contributing to our community for a decade or so, it doesn’t mean it can’t and would really be an anchor,” said Wallis Warren, a Eureka business owner.
The building is not on the National Register of Historic Places but Bill Hart with the Missouri Alliance for Historical Preservation says it could be on the list.
“It would thereby be eligible for tax credits, both federal and state that could help a potential developer in the redevelopment of the building,” said Hart.
Hart says people need to understand once the Ice House is gone, it’s gone forever. Although it has been condemned and the city of Eureka would like to see it demolished, Warren says she would like to get a second opinion.
“It is like going to a doctor and saying I want to see a specialist and that’s all we want, is it really that bad or can we do things and then what do we do to address it immediately,” said Warren.
Building owner Joe Boccardi said he’s willing to bring in some specialists, structural engineers and architects, adding he would pay for it out of his own pocket.
Many of those trying to save the Ice House said this was a last ditch effort and they were asking for something of a timeout before letting the demolition crews start.
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