Demolition request denied

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 14, 2005

Two buildings’ lease on life was extended Thursday when the Historic Landmarks Commission halted plans to demolish offices previously used for city government offices.

Suffolk officials had asked the body to issue a certificate of appropriateness to tear down the two buildings at the intersection of Market and West Washington streets. The city’s inspections and public utilities departments were located in the structures.

But commissioners believe the buildings may have some long-tem significance, and also want to ensure that the city is held to the same standards as private property owners.

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&uot;We need to brush the city with the same brush we brush everyone else,&uot; said Commissioner G. Stuart Tyler later Thursday.

After heated discussion on the issue, the board voted 6-0 to delay action on the request until a historical study of the buildings is conducted, and any valuables in the structures are sold.

Both structures are somewhat dilapidated and have been vacant for extended periods of time, Gerry Jones, the city’s director of capital programs, said in a recent interview. &uot;We don’t want the buildings to become problems from a public safety standpoint.&uot;

The demolitions would be the fourth city-owned building to come down in just over a year. Last year, a demolition team took down the former Suffolk Public School administration building. The razing of Birdsong Recreation Center is now under way.