City of Auburn seeks emergency demolition of Wall Street church

David Wilcox | May 7, 2021

Methodist Episcopal Church after high winds last weekend wore the deteriorating brick structure down even further.

City Manager Jeff Dygert told The Citizen on Wednesday that the city is talking to contractors in hopes of demolishing the 71 Wall St. church “as soon as we can” due to the danger it poses.

“We’re significantly concerned about its structural stability,” Dygert said. “And it’s different than (most) buildings. It’s so tall that the debris field and the collapse zone are very significant.”

After calls from concerned neighbors last weekend, personnel from the code enforcement office and the Auburn Fire Department evaluated the church and concluded its roof, walls and buttresses were “significantly more deteriorated” than the last time the city evaluated it, Dygert said. He believes the high winds that weekend, specifically Friday evening, caused much of the deterioration. Debris was also falling from the structure, leading the city to temporarily close Washington Street between Wall and Van Anden streets and enlarge the perimeter of safety fencing around the property.

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