"I intend to appear and present evidence that hopefully will suggest to the Landmark Commission that the building has long since served its usefulness," says attorney Steve Metzger. "Unfortunately that building has some serious issues that likely prevent any rehabilitation." He says those will be spelled out in a structural engineer's report he will present to Landmark Monday afternoon, at which point I'll just go ahead and post, sure.
Metzger has a tough battle ahead: The Landmark Commission's Central Business District/West End Task Force, which first heard about plans to demo the building early last month, denied the request without prejudice, allowing PCB to keep making its case up the chain of command. (Said the task force: "Structural Engineer needs to provide more claity to substantiate the immediate threat to public safety.") Landmark staff also recommends denying the request: "The owner has not shown the structure constitutes a documented major and imminent threat to public health and safety."
Metzger says, sure, the building's for sale: "There's no price set on it," matter of fact, so make your best offer before it's too late.
"In its day I am sure it was serviceable for the purposes for which it was intended," he says. "Politely, let's say construction standards are much improved. That's the unfortunate part of old buildings. I find them interesting too. 804 Pacific, which is behind it, was also built at the turn of the century. And it's amazing -- wood floors and wonderful construction for that era. The first floor is dock-height, so you could back your wagon up to it. Unfortunately, 807 Elm doesn't look the same -- it doesn't give you the level of craftsmanship, let's say. It might come down by itself. I don't mean that in a pejorative fashion. It's just the truth."