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ERIC SHELTON | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT Assistant City Engineer David Atkins, right, and Public Works Supervisor Robbie Dollar review the scene of a collapsed building on the corner of Homochitto Street and Duncan Avenue after an abandoned building collapsed Tuesday afternoon.

Abandoned building collapses

Published 12:04am Wednesday, December 21, 2011

NATCHEZ — It had stood through years of storms, stress and neglect, but Tuesday afternoon the abandoned building at the corner of Homochitto Street and Duncan Avenue could stand no more.

Bystanders said the building began to emit a creaking noise before suddenly collapsing and falling into the street. The collapse happened during the 3 p.m. hour.

Natchez Public Works Director Robbie Dollar said the priority Tuesday was clearing the piles of busted bricks and moldering wood out of the roadway.

“We are just trying to open the streets and keep everything safe,” he said.

The building has been derelict for some time, and already appeared structurally unsound at the time of the collapse. For several years the structure has had a large hole in one of its walls.

Who was ultimately responsible for the building’s upkeep is a mystery at the moment, Dollar said.

“At this point, we do not know who owns it,” he said.

“It has been abandoned for many years.”

Finding out that information is going to be a priority, however.

“Tomorrow, we will find out who owns it,” Dollar said.

Alderman Dan Dillard said the city planning department has gone through a process of determining unsafe buildings, and he thought the building was on the list.

City Planner Bob Nix could not be reached for comment.

  • Anonymous

    Good!! Since the city wouldn’t do anything about it for all of these years, now they have to. They run around town giving everyone a hard time but neglect these type of properties that are a danger. Swallow a fly and gag at a gnat.

  • Anonymous

    Now I understand why the NPC opposes holes in walls.

  • Anonymous

    Something should have long ago been done about this building. They should know, just look up the property deed and see who owns it. I would not imagine the city has not collected taxes on this property in all those years… .Any building that is left uninhabited and not being maintained is eventually going to meet the same fate. When the hole was in the side of this building they should have contacted the owners then and had something done. things left untended become a bigger problem later….

  • Anonymous

    It was probably going to be a laundromat at one time before the Preservation Commission stopped construction on it.

  • Anonymous

    Now the dope dealers will have to find another location.

  • Anonymous

    I was glad when they boarded it up a year or two ago, whenever it was. But I don’t understand why if something looks structurally unsound that it is allowed to stand, owner or no owner. If it presents a public hazard, either the owner steps in or it gets torn down. Document how fragile it was and get on with it so later on the owner can’t say you tore down a perfectly good structure. If nobody claims it, they can’t care too much. Where I grew up, as soon as something is deemed unsafe, down it goes. Effort is made to contact the owners, but after a reasonable time (6 months to a year?), if the owner doesn’t respond, the hazard must be demolished in the interest of the public. What if one of these days a structure collapses like this and they find a body at the bottom of the rubble? What then? An ounce of prevention…..

  • Anonymous

    What I was thinking, or any business for that matter.

  • Anonymous

    ooops–see !!

  • Anonymous

    This place has been a hazard since Christ was a Corporal. It finally committed suicide.

  • Anonymous

    How is it possible in 2011 to not know who owns a piece of land in Natchez???  Seriously!

    Do they use monks and scribes at the tax office?  Aren’t they using computers??

    How many other pieces of property aren’t being taxed because some dolt in city hall can’t be bothered cross referencing ownership records and the tax rolls?

  • Anonymous

    If memory serves me right, it WAS  a laundry when I was a kid , maybe in the late 60′s. That was  when the building just beyond it was the old Pik-Quik.  High time for the building to make a last “death-shudder” and fall.

  • Anonymous

    Arlington is next.

  • Anonymous

    I passed another one on St. Catherine near Brumfield Apts. today that is on its last leg also.  There are more than you can count, can we make this an election issue next year?

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Yes, you are correct on it being a laundry in the 60′s and I’m very surprised the histerical people hasn’t complained about it before now being its one across the street and one down the street Dunlieth, Auburn going toward Duncan park. This would be a good lead up for the ND to get some feedback on in tommorros paper!!

  • Anonymous

    That would explain the hole in the wall; but the exhaust vents must have huge!

  • Anonymous

    Anyone want some land.  Apparently no one owns this land so once the city cleans it up claim it as yours.  Free!

  • Anonymous

    Well….just goes to show us voters !!!! Electing ‘leaders’ who don’t know squat about who owns what in Natchez….But, for sure, they know who owns Arlington, don’t they?? Still wondering who has a bone to pick with him..This old building was in plain sight like many, many more in Natchez, while Arlington is hidden from sight back in the woods..

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    New information: White Way Cleaners and the Whites owned it in the 60′s.

  • Anonymous

    You think they could build another antebellum home on this site?