Downtown wall to come down after falling bricks crush car
Large hole opens up on east facade at office building on Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street S.W.
More bricks rained down from a downtown Calgary building whose facade began crumbling last week, crushing a car below.
The bricks tumbled down from roughly the third storey at about 7 p.m. MT Sunday, leaving an eight-by-four metre hole in the mid-20th century building at 608 Seventh Street S.W.
The city's chief building official Marco Civitarese says the facade could be taken down as early as this afternoon.
"Mitigation efforts being undertaken right now involve controlled demolition of that east facade to a point where it is fully removed. The public is not facing any danger at this time as it’s been segregated to a point," said Civitarese.
"We see that the structure still has capacity."
Civitarese said the city is considering putting a protective wall on the inside where the elevator sits.
"What you'll see is an opening — a full facade opening with a buildup of a further wall on the inside at some point."
Civitarese said it was a dangerous situation that is very concerning.
"It's extraordinary knowing it wasn't a wind event. It's extraordinary knowing that the aging infrastructure of City of Calgary buildings has to be addressed. It's complicated and wanting to know that owners are engaged to the point where they are taking maintenance seriously now and whether it's a new building or an old building, maintenance is of concern."
Building future not known
As for the rest of the building, and when it will be torn down, that is a conversation for the builders, said Civitarese.
No one was hurt when the bricks came down and there's no danger to the public now, said Battalion Chief Ernie Molineaux.
“There were some vehicles that were left at the bottom of the building that we've cordoned off and one of them has been crushed severely,” said Molineaux.
Officials evacuated the building last week when the facade started crumbling. Crews erected heavy barricade walls made of stacked concrete blocks and shipping containers in case the wall continued to come down.
The sidewalk and cycle track on Seventh Street next to the building have been closed.