City to rule on the future of crumbled building today

May 22, 2000|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

The owners of a Union Square tavern expect to learn today if the city will tear down what is left of their $125,000 investment, which partially collapsed Saturday, or risk bracing rear and side walls so repairs can be made.

None of the workers installing wallboard inside the 160-year-old building at Little Hollins Street and Arlington Avenue in Southwest Baltimore was injured when a major portion of the front wall suddenly caved in. A neighborhood resident, who had just left Glen and Nan's Beer Garden and Cafe with a cup of coffee, suffered a head injury that required stitches, according to fire officials.

"We had a private engineer take a look at it [yesterday] and he said it would be risky to try to save the building, but it might be possible," said Glen Taylor, one of the owners who lives across Arlington Avenue from the tavern. "I blame the people from CHAP [Committee for Historical and Architectural Preservation] because they wouldn't let us do what we wanted to do."

Attempts to reach officials of CHAP, a municipal agency, were unsuccessful yesterday.

Taylor and co-owner Nan Bosley said they wanted to install metal doors and windows, but were told by CHAP officials that they had to retain the wood.

Taylor said he had rebuilt a section in the back of the building after repairing brick and replacing mortar. He wanted to do that in the front, removing windows and installing brick or cinder block with a brick facade.

"They wouldn't let us do it that way," he said.

If city officials decide the structure must be razed, Taylor and Bosley said it wouldn't end their dream "to restore life in the neighborhood."

"If I have to rebuild, I will, but with a two-story building, and I'll move in and live on the second floor," Taylor said. "I've lived here 40 years."

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