The Lair Building has been torn down and work has begun to reopen North West Street next to the courthouse.
City of Jacksonville Director of Community Development Brian Nyberg told What’s On Your Mind last week that there is small projects remaining on the adjacent buildings before further work can be completed: “The good news is, it is down. That portion is cleaned up. We have to do some blocking up to close up some openings in the basement to the [Rammelkamp] building, and then we can back fill it. Hopefully, we can move forward. There is going to be some liens placed on all the work that’s been done, but that will be in litigation with the city attorney.”
Nyberg says that the Rammelkamp Bradney law firm building is receiving extensive repair because the Lair Building shared floor joists and a roof: “Between the Lair Building and the Rammelkamp building, they shared a wall, so the floor joists went into that brick wall from one side and then the other also, so it was kind of a tricky process. Before taking that first floor down, because that first floor was actually stabilizing that wall and it was all pretty old brick – a contractor went in on the Rammelkamp side and kind of shored that up and tied it all into the new roof that they put in because the damage from the collapse had put two great big gaping holes in their roof. They had to go back and do some fixing up, and actually between myself and Hutchison Engineering, we thought now would be the time before we go any farther to tie all that in and actually hold that wall, and then, we could move forward to taking the rest of that down.”
Nyberg said via email on Tuesday that it would likely be some time next week before North West Street would open to traffic again. He said that a chimney had to be taken down and new guttering installed on the surrounding buildings as well as massive backfill still needing to take place. Masonry work on the back of the Rammelkamp building also is still on the list of things to be done to eventually complete the project.