A historic building in Hot Springs could be coming down

 Barricades and tape surround a historic building in Hot Springs.<br />(KOTA)
Barricades and tape surround a historic building in Hot Springs.<br />(KOTA) (KOTA)
Published: Jan. 17, 2020 at 5:07 PM CST
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A Facebook post from the Hot Springs Police Department showed a historic building with tape and barricades around it, which got many people talking.

If you head to 717 North River Street in Hot Springs, you may notice barricades and tape around the Wesch-Oak building.

"Roof leak has degraded the entire interior supporting structure. And these old sandstone buildings all though they're beautiful they're unreinforced," says Hot Springs City administrator, John Gregory.

The issue came to light after the Department of Transportation was doing an inspection to work on the highway in the area.

"The vibration of construction would bring it down, and that's a genuine concern now," says Gregory.

Gregory says the walls hold up the floors, and now the floors are falling and pulling the walls with it.

"Each organization has attempted to do some historic preservation, but it has further degraded the building since it hasn't been touched in over five years," says Gregory.

Even though it's an empty building, some believe the historic value brings meaning to the community.

"If there was a way, I would like to see the building stay and renovated," says one community member, Basil BraveHeart.

When it comes to older buildings in the area that aren't being used, Gregory says officials are going to make sure to keep a close eye on them. So something like this doesn't happen again.

The city now plans to seek a court order, allowing them to demolish the building.

"We hope that we can protect the public and have a suitable site for someone to build in the future," says Gregory.

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