How Safe is 807 Elm Street? One Structural Engineer Says It's "Distressed" Beyond Rescue.

Inside 807 Elm Street from documents submitted to the Landmark Commission
Aside from 807 Elm Street, there were a handful of other items of note on the Landmark Commission's agenda Monday -- like this proposed plaque for the Cotton Bowl, or a more detailed look at Jack Matthews's plans for a boutique hotel in the old Dallas Coffin Company Building next to the South Side on Lamar. But, as I mentioned Friday, the attorney repping the owners of 807 Elm Street, which is across the street from El Centro, made his case for razing the 85-year-old building, which the Landmark Commission's downtown task force has already nixed with city staff's backing (and preservationists' blessings).

Here you'll find 70 pages' worth of docs (and photos) in which structural engineers and other hired guns insist it ain't worth saving the building. Say the reports, it'll cost close to $2 mil just to bring it up to code, and it's just not worth it. An excerpt from Carrollton-based Hennessey Engineering Inc.'s report submitted only last week:
After decades of neglect due to deterioration, weathering, and poor economic conditions, the 807 Elm structure and architectural finish to the building falls into an unsafe condition. There have been attempts to restore the building, though in each case, the condition and layout prevents economic use of the structure. The existing conditions prevent a suitable remediation program. The surrounding area would benefit by facilitating improved development of a combined lot, which would enhance the economic conditions and provide desirable commercial space and safety for the citizens of Dallas.
The docs didn't so the trick: Landmark denied the demolition permit without prejudice, which means the owners can now appeal to the City Plan Commission. Or they can apply using a different standard.

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky

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