A great blow was dealt to the restoration efforts of downtown Bluefield, Tuesday, November 12, 2007.
About a third of the west side of the Old People's Bank in Bluefield collapsed before dawn Tuesday. No one was injured.
This structure stands on the corner of the main roads of Princeton Avenue and Bland St. It was a unique architectural design and was erected in 1895 by stonemasons from Italy. It originally housed the People's Bank. At that time, it was was the oldest brownstone structure south of Charleston.
It was slated for restoration and grants had been obtained but it was delayed because the legal transfer of title from the Redeeming Life Christian Center had not been completed.
The collapse decimated the center portion of the 115-foot long building. Engineers are evaluating the damage and prelimary reports indicate that the back portion of the building is intact and there does not appear to be any new movement.
One lane of Princeton AVenue and Bland St are closed to traffic and the area around the building is closed for pedestrian use.
However, the intial grant was to stabilize the structure not rebuild it and it may be cost prohibitive for the city at this point although they are going to do all they can to save it.
The previous photo "Eyes in the Sky" is a photo from a few years ago of this building.
The next photo is a close up of the damage.