Inspections Underway for Capitol Hall Following Partial Roof Collapse


A typical reaction to the pile of bricks and cement that still sits at the foot of Capitol Hall after a partial roof collapse shut down much of downtown, Saturday.

Jim Staron is the Director of Operations for the neighboring Grand Traverse Pie Company and says his employees use that alley all the time.

"Our staff walks through that alley way ten times a day to take trash out to the dumpsters at the other end of the alley, so I'm just glad nobody was hurt," said Staron.

Now, a couple days later, the City of Lansing is trying its best to keep it that way.

"When we have knowledge that there is a risk there, we have to take appropriate action to protect the public and that's what has been done in this case," said Bob Johnson, Director of Planning and Housing Development.

Johnson says a resulting gas leak has been repaired and now it's up to the building owners to take care of the rest, including roof repairs and inspections of the entire building. The sidewalk will remain covered until that happens.

"The owner's engineer will be submitting plans in the next couple of days to us," said Johnson. "Those plans have to be approved and then reviewed and of course the work being done."

Building Manager David Stewart spoke with me over the phone and says the plans have been finished and while they still don't know the cause of the collapse, he's working with the city to find out.

In the meantime, Johnson says similar buildings built in the first half of the 20th century are in good shape, but other than naked eye and typical safety inspections there's not much the city can do.

"With regards to the structural condition, from all aspects of a structure...That is something that would be rather difficult to do," said Johnson. "But when we do see it, obviously, we respond."

The bricks are expected to be picked up in the near future.


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