Crew Works to Stabilize St. Charles Building after Foundation Fails
The building was remodeled in 1988.
A construction crew is working to stabilize a downtown St. Charles building after a foundation wall that supported two internal columns failed Monday night.
The building, 117 W. Main St., was declared uninhabitable Monday and remains closed Tuesday, along with two connected buildings. The eastbound lane of Main Street is closed to traffic until the condition of the building is reevaluated.
A structural engineer is on the scene to work with a construction crew to shore up the building and prevent a potential collapse. The cause remains unknown.
At about 8 p.m. Monday, a passerby called 911 to report water leaking from the front door of a business in the building, according to the St. Charles Fire Department. Minutes later, responding firefighters found a “major failure” of the foundation, which had caused a support beam to move 18 inches.
This settling caused the water pipe to burst and “significant structural damage” to the second floor and roof of the building, according to fire officials.
No one was reported injured after the foundation buckled.
Szechwan Restaurant, located on the second floor of the building, is closed. Two neighbors, Rx Café and the Steel Beam Theatre, also will remain closed Tuesday until the site can be evaluated.
“Until they secure that structure … those two businesses will remain closed,” said Bob Vann of the city’s Building and Code Enforcement Division.
The first floor of the building was vacant. The last tenant to occupy the space was reportedly a bank.
Buildings on that block date to the 1850s. The 117 W. Main St. building was remodeled in 1988.