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Owner of E.M. Weaver Building Shares Plans for the Future

The historic Weaver building in Lafayette partially collapsed on Tuesday. While there are no official plans at this time, the owner says he would like to build high-rises on the property.

Posted: Aug 27, 2019 6:40 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2019 6:42 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)- The historic Weaver building in Lafayette partially collapsed on Tuesday.
City officials say the strong winds and heavy rain that hit the area caused a portion of the building to collapse. Now the owner is left picking up the pieces.

The Weaver building has been a part of the Lafayette community since the mid-1800s, and it's been home to a lot of local businesses.

"It was eventually used as Piggly Wiggly Grocery store,” said Dan Vierk the current owner of the building. “It was once the Bartlett Whiskey drug store, 5 Points Bargains and then McHale's Surplus."

On Tuesday just after 5 in the morning, the building began to crumble.

"This is the wall that everyone has been concerned about,” said Mark Gick the city of Lafayette Building Inspector. “We think that the rain has caused the collapse of this section of the wall."

The fire department is just across the street. They immediately sprang into action when they heard what was happening.

The building has been scheduled for demolition since June and the current owner of the building is no stranger to its history. He says it's sad that it wasn't taken care of.

"I could have cried when I went in and saw the despair,” added Vierk. “Eventually there wasn't any other choice than to tear it down.”

Vierk's goal is to salvage some of the building's most iconic pieces.

"If they are not salvageable for any reason we will reconstruct them,” added Vierk. “At this point, the goal is to salvage them and reconstruct the look of the building to maintain the historical significance of the area."

While there are no official plans at this time, the owner says he would like to build high-rises on the land.

"You've got a 360-degree view from the whole city of Lafayette,” said Vierk. “There is no other property that has that ability and the views are fabulous."

For now, though the main focus is to make the area safe again. The partial collapse caused South Street from main to 18th streets to be closed. Those roads have since reopened.

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