Piece by piece, a part of Tallahassee history is coming down before it's too late.
“We think it could come down at any minute, decided we needed to take it down rather than let it fall,” says Eve Williams of Tallahassee Public Works.
But it's not your typical demolition job. The arch is a historic landmark. The center span will be removed, but a replacement should go back up, as much like the original as possible.
“A lot of arch will end up in dumpster because wood and stucco that can't be saved, but one thing that can be saved will be, these original tiles dating back to 1920s. I think we're gonna get this thing fixed up right this time,” says Robert Sayes, a Los Robles resident.
Neighborhood residents like Robert Sayes remember when the arch was repaired after Hurricane Kate. Turns out, that mid-80s repair job may have done some harm.
“During the years that followed that, water intrusion on this side allowed water to get into these trusses, they actually have deteriorated to far worse than older truss on north side,” says Brick Rosenbaum of Rosenbaum Engineering.
Plans are to have a new arch made of steel inside, but on the outside, you won't see a difference.
In April, city commissioners agreed to fund the demolition project, about $50,000, and they expressed a commitment to replacing the arch, but did not identify a funding source for the reconstruction. That could cost $250,000.
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