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Former bowling alley collapses

No injuries reported as Fifth St. landmark tumbles down in Calumet

June 3, 2013
Kurt Hauglie , The Daily Mining Gazette

CALUMET - A building in downtown Calumet, which the owner intended to preserve as part of the history of the village, partially collapsed Sunday afternoon, but there were no injuries reported.

The back wall of the Sacs Building at 315 Fifth St. fell about 3:15 p.m., according to owner Jim Flood.

Flood said the building - which was constructed in 1902 - had some structural problems. The building was vacant for 30 years before he bought it and the ceiling failed at some point.

Article Photos

Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
Jim Flood, owner of the Sacs Building at 315 Fifth St. in downtown Calumet, surveys the collaped back wall of the structure early this morning. The building, which was constructed in 1902, at one time contained a bowling alley but has been vacant for about three decades. Flood was intending to preserve the building.

"Portions caved in last year," he said. "We've been monitoring it since then."

Last week, Flood said, the back wall started bowing outward, so the village blocked off the alley behind it to keep people away from the building.

"Three days later, (the wall) came down," he said.

Flood said he bought the building in 2005. Buying and renovating historic buildings is his business.

"The intent is to preserve as much historic fabric as possible," he said.

Over the years, Flood said the building contained a bowling alley and a pool hall.

Very quickly after the wall fell, Flood said, a building inspector, police and village representatives came to the site to determine what should be done.

"Everybody showed up," he said. "I was just impressed with the response."

The building has been completely empty for a while, Flood said. He gutted it and hauled out about 70 tons of debris, and had all the asbestos and lead removed.

Flood said the plan now is to take down the second floor and preserve as much of the first floor as possible with the goal of eventually getting a business in the building.



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