Front Wall of Collapsed Downtown Building in Process of Coming Down
Crews are taking down the front wall of the collapsed downtown building on Washington St., the former site of the Cheng-Du restaurant.
After months of conversation between the Town of Stoughton and the Freeman Corporation (owned by David Parsons of Malcolm and Parsons Insurance) the front wall of the collapsed building in the center of town is in the process of coming down.
Crews were seen Thursday morning at the Washington St. building, the former site of the Cheng-Du restaurant, taking down the front wall of the structure, which had been propped up by bracing.
Building commissioner Thomas McGrath confirmed the wall was coming down and said the project should be “completed in a few days.”
The building at 762 Washington Street had been vacant since a three-alarm fire caused extensive damage in October of 2009. Then, in late January of this year, the roof collapsed due to heavy snow.
Shortly thereafter, the front wall of this building was given support with wooden braces and a fence on the roadway was put up to give pedestrians a place to walk since the sidewalk was blocked off.
The collapsed building is, adjacent to Malcolm and Parsons Insurance Agency. And, the Freeman Corporation, which is owned by David Parsons of Malcolm and Parsons Insurance, owns the collapsed building.
Now, McGrath said the remnants of the existing front wall will be taken down and the exterior bracing structure and fencing will also be removed.
A plywood wall will be put up in its place, with bracing placed in the interior of the building to prop this temporary wall up, McGrath said.
McGrath noted that no town funds are being expended for this project.
He said that according to the contractor Parson’s hired for this project, Parsons has employed an engineering firm to design a new single story building in its place, but McGrath said he has not seen any plans for this.
“Based on past dealings, I don’t expect that will happen soon,” McGrath said.
So, while the end result is not a new set of storefronts (for now), McGrath is encouraged by this progress.
“[It’s] not a building…we’re looking at a plywood wall, [but] it will be a huge improvement over the status quo,” he said. “It’s a tremendous eyesore now.”
Special thanks to David Allen Lambert and to Hank Herbowy for contributing photos of the construction from Thursday morning.