Hannibal losing one of its historic buildings - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Hannibal losing one of its historic buildings

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A city known for its history, Hannibal's downtown historic district has many old buildings and at least three have caved in or suffered major damage in the last couple weeks.

The city will decide the fate of one of these buildings Tuesday at a building commission meeting. 213 Broadway, which most recently housed Karen's Dance Academy, is now on the list of buildings slated to come down.

City Engineer Mark Rees says the commission will discuss several properties on the demolition list because he says they have become dangerous.

Cindy Benjamin owns B&B Cut & Style next door to the ill-fated structure.

She says she's been trying to get the city to take it down for years as it switched ownership several times. She says no one wanted the responsibility of fixing it or demolishing it. So there it stood - until last week. When part of the building came crashing in.

"Just recently we had an issue after the tornado things weren't so bad but then when we had that second storm come through then we had an issue that I really needed to call and have them come and look at," said Benjamin.

So the city inspected it. And Rees says while it's sad to see it go, immediate action needs to be taken.

"It is a shame," said Rees. "It's distressing to see how many buildings that either the city is having to take down or that the private individuals are taking down. We just wish we could keep that historic nature."

Robert Heiser owns Crescent Jewelers in historic downtown Hannibal just a few doors down. He says it can be expensive to keep these old buildings in good shape. And that not every building owner is able to keep up.

"Lately we've had people - that have probably been marginal - that didn't have a lot of money to maintain their building," said Heiser. "They came in thinking they're going to do really well. And then they leave and they don't improve it."

Heiser says he keeps his roof in good shape and that it's vital. Rees agreed that keeping a solid, weather-proof roof will extend the life of historic buildings. Benjamin says 213 Broadway had a leaky roof for years.

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