Water, wind cause Old Depot roof to collapse
By Steve Lord firstname.lastname@example.org April 19, 2013 9:00AM
A roof collapse at the former train depot at Broadway and Washington Street in Aurora has closed southbound Broadway (Route 25) between North Avenue and Benton Street on Friday, April 19, 2013. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
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Updated: April 21, 2013 6:19PM
AURORA – The partial collapse of the roof on the Old Depot on South Broadway here could hasten razing of the whole building, city officials said Friday.
Dan Ferrelli, city spokesman, said officials are saying preliminarily the cause of the collapse, which happened about 9 p.m. Thursday, was a combination of water saturation and wind. So, while it was not flooding, it was another victim of this week’s storms.
“There are other portions of the building that appear unstable,” Ferrelli said. “A fence is being erected for public safety purposes.”
Because of the instability, Ferrelli said the city is looking at “expediting” the demolition permit the owner of the Old Depot already has applied for with the city.
The heavy rain apparently got into wood beams, weakened them, and the wind pushed the concrete and brick facing along the top part onto the sidewalk and street below.
The building itself is at South Broadway and Washington Street. The force of the collapse actually knocked the part of the street sign that says “Washington” off, and it was among the rubble Friday morning.
City officials closed South Broadway from Benton Street to North Avenue, and it remained closed early Friday afternoon to southbound traffic. Northbound cars were able to pass.
Ferrelli said by later Friday afternoon, one lane southbound should be open.
There were no injures because of the collapse.
The former Burlington-Northern and Amtrak station was built in 1923 and vacated in 1986, when the city moved all depot operations to the Roundhouse building on North Broadway.
The old building and the about 17 acres around it has been touted by some as a possible rehab and adaptive reuse site, but it has remained vacant for 27 years.