Engineer Tours Masonic Temple
An engineer hired by the owner of Watertown's Masonic Temple toured the building Monday, as the owner tries to comply with city demands.
Richard Applebaum - from the Syracuse firm of Klepper, Hahn and Hyatt - walked in and outside the building and up on the roof, using a hammer to tap gently at spots where he thought material might come loose.
"As far as condemning it, I see nothing structural that says there's anything dangerous about the building," Applebaum said.
'There's just little pieces falling off."
City officials have said they may condemn the building for occupancy - meaning only owner Garrett McCarthy and repair crews could go in - if Mccarthy doesn't secure the building enough to prevent pieces of the facade from falling off.
McCarthy took over the Washington Street building, which had fallen into disrepair, and hopes to turn it into an arts center.
McCarthy fulfilled one of the city's demands by hiring an engineer. He's now trying to make the city's schedule for filing paperwork and making repairs.
Applebaum said the temporary fix for the pillars in front of the building - the tiles have been coming off the pillars - will be doing something like covering them up.
McCarthy said once he gets the engineer's plan, he'll determine how - or whether - he can proceed to stop tiles from falling off the building.
Beyond that, there is the bigger job of putting on a new roof, which Applebaum said would be very expensive.
McCarthy told 7 News he's workng on securing the money the money he needs.
"It's been interesting who has stepped forward so far," McCarthy said. "So from that point on that's all I can say."
City officials will meet Tuesday to decide if McCarthy has made enough progress to avoid having the building condemned for occupancy.
The good news from Applebaum's inspection? He said the inside of the building is in good shape.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013, Watertown, NY
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