Boonville officials now have plans to tear down the old Tri-State Lending Building. Since 2005, the city has been deciding whether to repair or demolish it.
It's the building on the corner of Locust and Second Street, just feet away from City Hall. It's been supported by steel braces for eight years now, and the city is finally ready to tear it down. But unfortunately, it's going to take an historic law office with it.
"These buildings are historic buildings, of course, but they're beyond repair. Because of that, they have to come down," said Sherrie Sievers, a board member for Boonville Now.
Boonville Now is a revitalization group for the Town of Boonville. Sievers says the plan is to tear down the crumbling old Tri-State Lending Building within the next couple of months and install a pocket park.
"We'd like to maybe do some fountains. At one time, we thought about having movies projected on the remaining brick wall and things of that nature," Sievers said.
Deemed an eyesore by those passing by, the building has very large exterior cracks and appears to be an accident waiting to happen.
"I graduated from law school in 1954, and I've been in this building ever since," said Don Ashley, of Don Ashley Law.
Ashley says the city is concerned that tearing down the lending building will damage the law office. So, to keep from paying for costly repairs, the city has offered to buy the law office to tear it down as well. This is an option the Ashley family has refused until now.
"The city had allocated a sufficient amount of money to bolster the wall. Even then, the building might not have withstood the vibration and the lack of support. So, we were gonna lose the building in any event," Ashley said.
The Don Ashley Law Office has been housed in the building since Don's father opened it in 1946. They say the office will remain in business on Third Street, but Ashley wishes he could stay here.
"Well I'm, of course, sad to give up the building that I've spent 70 years of my life in and around. It's very difficult," Ashley said.
Ashley says he and his family are not upset with the city over the loss of their building. Acknowledging it's the only way to move forward.
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